The solution - marine reserves

Background - April 26, 2010
Europe’s marine environment provides many ecosystem functions on which we depend, such as the dilution and assimilation of waste products, supply of seafood and the regulation of our climate. Fish are not simply a commodity, but an integral and living part of these marine ecosystems. Sound fisheries management and the restoration and protection of marine ecosystems in marine reserves are therefore essential preconditions for our health and prosperity.

Europe must cut its fishing capacity if stocks are to recover. The EU must favour job-rich small scale, local fishing and scrap the most destructive boats.

Marine reserves are highly protected areas that are off limits to all extractive and destructive uses, like fishing and oil exploration. They are an indispensable tool for building ecosystem resilience and play the joint role of conserving fisheries and biodiversity. If large enough areas are protected and properly enforced, marine reserves help offer vital protection from over-exploitation and ecosystem degradation. They even act against the onslaught of global climate change, as highlighted in a 2007 Greenpeace report.

Europe’s coastal states are required under international agreements to complete a national network of marine reserves by 2012. The EU habitats and birds directives and associated Natura 2000 network provide the mechanism for protecting such a network of reserves across the EU waters.

Greenpeace wants to see 40% of the world’s oceans set aside in a global network of marine reserves.

Greenpeace has drawn up detailed proposals for marine reserves globally and in EU waters:
A global Emergency Oceans Rescue Plan
A Roadmap to Recovery
For the North and Baltic Seas
Specifically for the Baltic Seas
For the Mediterranean Sea