Oceans

Our oceans are majestic, home to millions of awe-inspiring creatures, and are part of the cultural heritage of millions of coastal peoples in Canada and worldwide. Life on our blue planet depends on healthy oceans, but scientists are sounding the alarm that sea life could face the next mass extinction. Next to climate change, overfishing is the single greatest threat to marine biodiversity. Industrial fishing has drastically reduced populations of ocean life, and a growing demand for fish is causing an already out of control industry to hunt sea life faster than they can repopulate, while ramping up fish farming operations, and further threatening delicate marine ecosystems. Pollution, like plastic and harmful chemicals, is leaving no corners of our oceans untouched and is infiltrating marine food chains. Urgent action is needed to protect marine life, large and small, to support people who live by the ocean and rely on it for their livelihoods, and to allow our oceans to recover and flourish. Greenpeace is pushing for solutions to the problems facing ocean life. Join us.

Plastic

Plastic pollution

A garbage truck worth of plastic enters our oceans every minute. Ocean life is literally drowning in plastic pollution. Plastic is consuming coastal habitats, seafloor habitats and marine ecosystems, while plastic consumption continues to rise. From tiny microbeads to plastic bags to food and product packaging, our daily reliance, use and disposal of plastic is out of control. Single use plastics like bottles, straws, coffee cups, bags and containers are a huge part of the problem. They are the result of a prolific culture of convenience that is common in many societies around the globe. Purchasing a product for short-term use and then throwing it away has become almost second nature, but plastic does not really go away and a huge proportion of it is ending up in actual nature – in our oceans and the stomachs of wildlife. We need to cut our plastic addition, ban single use plastics, and demand that the companies accept responsibility for their role in the plastic crisis. Avoiding plastic is challenging because few companies offer alternatives and instead fuel the addiction. It wasn’t that long ago that our lives were not so dependent on throwaway plastics. Together we can refuse, reduce, reuse and #BreakFreeFromPlastic.

 

Tuna

Changing Tuna

The global fishing industry is out of control. Tuna populations and other threatened marine animals like turtles, sharks and seabirds have suffered devastating declines because of overfishing, illegal fishing and harmful fishing practices. Labour and human rights concerns also plague the industry, as workers work in sometimes deadly conditions. Buyers and sellers of canned tuna have a role to play in creating a more sustainable and socially responsible industry from sea to plate. Greenpeace has worked in Canada and globally to urge companies to source only responsibly-caught tuna, to expose brands unwilling to change their destructive ways, and to urge companies to be part of a broader ocean protection movement. Greenpeace has ranked well-known brands and has created a shopping guide to help those choosing to buy tuna to make more responsible choices. Positive change is happening on supermarket shelves but we all must hold companies accountable to ensure only responsibly-caught tuna is sourced and sold in the Canadian market. Check out our Tuna Guide for Healthier Oceans to share with tuna lovers you know and demand your supermarket green their tuna aisles!

 

Ocean life

Protecting ocean life

Life started in our oceans and they are still home to some of the planet's longest living and even prehistoric creatures. There is so much beauty in ocean life, with weird and wonderful plants and animals that create unique and complex ecosystems that contribute to the biological diversity of planet ocean. Ocean ecosystems also regulate other systems on earth like our climate and without healthy ocean life, those systems are becoming out of whack. With growing threats to ocean habitats and life it is even more important to not only strive to interact with our oceans in a more sustainable way, but to set aside large areas to allow recovery, rebuilding, resilience and simply ocean life business as usual without exploitation. Greenpeace is calling for 40 per cent of the world’s oceans to be set aside in sanctuaries, urging industry and government to do their part to make this a reality in Canada and on the high seas. We are also working to hold governments accountable to their promises to ensure the recovery of our at-risk species, we are working with coastal and Indigenous communities to ensure their rights are respected and ocean-dependent way of life can continue, and we are stopping destructive industries from threatening our coasts. Learn more about various projects we are working on or supporting in our blogs below.

 

The latest updates

 

Acting for sharks, starting with your grocery list

Blog entry by Sarah King, Senior oceans strategist | July 8, 2015

This week is off to a sharktastic start with lots of jawsome shark facts, images, stories and sharkisms swimming around cyberspace. #Sharkweek is about getting to know this amazing creatures, sharing stories and inspiring people to...

We won! United Nations decide to develop a High Seas Biodiversity Agreement

Blog entry by Sofia Tsenikli | June 22, 2015 1 comment

Only a few days ago - June 19th  -  the United Nations General Assembly formally decided to develop a High Seas Biodiversity Agreement, endorsing the breakthrough outcome of the UN biodiversity working group meeting in January. ...

Podcast:Apps for Activism and Fish Factory Trawlers

Blog entry by Mary Ambrose | March 2, 2015

Recently I read a story which I found truly shocking. It was about the sinking of a Korean fish factory trawler into the frigid depths of the Bering Sea off of Russia’s east coast. This particular fish factory trawler was on ...

Major breakthrough for Ocean Lovers: UN takes landmark step towards high seas...

Blog entry by Sofia Tsenikli | January 27, 2015

It is time for Ocean Lovers worldwide to celebrate! After years of political foot-dragging, and four hectic days of   negotiations   at the United Nations, a   breakthrough   came in the wee hours of Saturday morning, 24 January:...

7 Resolutions for #OceanLovers

Blog entry by Veronica Frank | January 20, 2015

One week in to 2015, and even though some New Year’s resolutions will already have fallen by the wayside, we all need to urgently think about one more resolution:  The resolution to protect the oceans and all its beautiful whales,...

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