Safeguarding marine biodiversity

Marine reserves help protect and preserve areas of our oceans that are rich in biodiversity, ecologically significant and vulnerable to destruction. These areas are closed to all extractive uses, such as fishing, mining, oil exploration, waste dumping etc. There is growing scientific evidence suggesting that large-scale networks of marine reserves are urgently needed to protect marine species and their habitats.

Marine reserves are not just about preserving fish stocks. They are an essential global tool to protect entire ecosystems. Marine reserves will help increase the planet’s ability to adapt to the effects of climate change and carbon pollution.

Coastal seas can also be protected with the help of marine reserves. Here, marine reserves can have ‘core’ zones, where no human activities are allowed. These can be areas of scientific reference or areas having particularly sensitive habitats or species. Other areas may remain open to small-scale, sustainable, non-destructive fisheries. Greenpeace firmly believes that marine reserves must be declared only with the consent and participation of communities that stand to be affected by the reserve in question.

Campaign story:

Less than 0.3% of India’s waters (including the 2 million sq. km. Exclusive Economic Zone) are under some form of legal protection, where extraction is either prohibited or restricted. A large, economically disadvantaged population in India depends on fisheries and related activities for primary sustenance and livelihood. The high level of direct resource dependence coupled with a lack of community consultation has generated resistance towards many marine reserves on the coast of mainland India.

While fishing communities support measures to protect their fish resources, they want local communities to be involved in making decisions over which areas need to be protected, how and to what extent.

This was clear at a symposium on marine reserves organised by Greenpeace in 2007. The symposium was attended by fisher community representatives from across India.  These representative expressed support for marine reserves, set up with prior involvement of communities to protect marine resources from all threats. Thus, community involvement in designing and enforcing marine reserves in India, particularly in the coastal zone, is indispensable.  

Greenpeace is campaigning on Orissa’s east coast, to help the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary become a model for better biodiversity conservation and a tool for fisheries management that addresses potential conflicts between conservation and livelihoods. A successful model in Orissa will become reference for marine conservation in the rest of India.

The latest updates

 

Australia's Great Barrier Reef threatened by coal mining

Blog entry by Arpana Udupa | April 20, 2013

Image: Darren Jew/Greenpeace I joined the Rainbow Warrior III in Townsville, a city in the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. After catching up with my Australian counterparts on the campaign and tour, I found myself in a...

Wanted: Polar explorers. No experience required.

Blog entry by James Turner | April 4, 2013

In just over two weeks I will be standing on the frozen Arctic ocean, preparing to ski to the North Pole. I'll be wearing four layers of fleece and a special hat that someone knitted for me. In my pockets I'll carry some almond...

Happy birthday, Greenfreeze!

Blog entry by Paula Tejon Carbajal | March 26, 2013

Greenfreeze production line 12/08/1993. © Ali Paczensky / Greenpeace Do you have a fridge at home? Then, unless you live in North America, you probably have a Greenfreeze. And what is that? A fridge that uses a revolutionary...

If Kumi will...will you?

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | March 20, 2013

This year’s Earth Hour on March 23 is no ordinary Earth Hour. Climate change is being felt around the world - ravaging communities, destroying lives and livelihoods. We are running out of time, but we can still fix this. Energy...

Meet the judges and see the winning design

Feature story | March 15, 2013 at 12:30

We're excited to announce the winner of our youth flag design competition, run in collaboration with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The winning flag design will be planted on the seabed at the North Pole next month!

At least 12.2 % of India’s reptiles threatened by extinction

Blog entry by Ignatius Thekaekara | February 20, 2013

Stay up-to-date on news related to the environment. In a recent study the Zoological Society of London and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) species survival commission found that upto 19 % of the world's...

Kerala launches ambitious solar project

Blog entry by Ignatius Thekaekara | February 13, 2013

Stay up-to-date on news related to the environment. Kerala has become the first Indian state to create a very ambitious project to generate over 10 MW of solar power through over 10,000 roof-top solar power systems of one kw each.

PM creates climate change panel

Blog entry by Ignatius Thekaekara | February 5, 2013

Stay up-to-date on news related to the environment. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has established a panel of secretaries from several different ministries along with the cabinet secretary to support the PM’s Council on Climate...

Point of No Return in pictures

Feature story | January 22, 2013 at 18:30

The world is quickly reaching a point of no return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Continuing on the current course will make it difficult, if not impossible, to prevent the widespread and catastrophic impacts of climate...

PM calls environmental clearances the new ‘licence-permit-quota raj’

Blog entry by Ignatius Joseph | January 18, 2013

Stay up-to-date on news related to the environment. PM calls environmental clearances the new ‘licence-permit-quota raj’ At the Union Cabinet meeting on January 10 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that environmental...

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