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

 

Our oceans, our choice

Feature story | July 12, 2004 at 3:30

He isn't paid for what he does. He doesn't get a uniform. He works alone at night, confronting poachers. Yet Saimone Ratukadreu says he will continue to protect his village's traditional fishing ground for as long as he lives.

Exxon secrets

Feature story | June 22, 2004 at 3:30

WASHINGTON, DC, United States — The secret's out. Climate sceptics being funded by ExxonMobil can no longer hide behind the name of a front group. A new website - www.exxonsecrets.org - exposes the links between ExxonMobil money and the think...

Greenpeace climbers net Barcelona landmark

Feature story | June 4, 2004 at 3:30

BARCELONA, Spain — Tourists got more than they bargained for this morning when they turned up at Spanish architect Gaudi's landmark cathedral, Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona. Greenpeace activists, clinging to the famous spires like orange-clad...

The Solar Generation

Feature story | June 1, 2004 at 3:30

BONN, Germany — Who are we? Young people who want to change the world! What do we want? Renewable Energy! Make no mistake - the world is heading for climate disaster if we don't change our dirty energy ways soon. The young people of the Solar...

Big Screen Vs Big Oil

Feature story | May 25, 2004 at 3:30

HOLLYWOOD, United States — Anybody who has watched an X-wing fighter explode in a luminous fireball in the vacuum of space knows that Hollywood is fast and loose with science. But if Hollywood has an iconic specialty, it's aiming the spotlight.

Judge throws out Bush administration case against Greenpeace

Feature story | May 19, 2004 at 3:30

MIAMI, FLORIDA, United States — Judge throws out Bush administration case against environmental group

Notes from the Solar Generation Diaries

Feature story | April 19, 2004 at 3:30

DHARAMSALA, India — On 19th April 2004, a group of seventeen people from Greenpeace Germany, Switzerland and India embarked on a journey to Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, to participate in the first ‘Solar Generation’ project in India. Together...

1928

Image | February 10, 2004 at 5:30

1928, *Historic Image* Original photograph taken in 1928 of the Upsala Glacier. Bottom image: January 2004, Composite image of Upsala Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina.

REPORT OF THE CENTRAL EMPOWERED COMMITTEE

Publication | February 10, 2004 at 4:30

One fish, two fish, glofish?

Feature story | January 20, 2004 at 4:30

PET SHOPS, United States — The biotechnology industry has struggled for the last twenty years to come up with products that work, and propaganda to sell those products. Remember the FlavrSavr tomato, the first genetically engineered (GE) food...

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