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

 

Shell less than transparent about worst UK oil spill in a decade

Blog entry by Bex | August 18, 2011

As I write, Shell is working to contain an oil spill off the Aberdeenshire coast that is already, reportedly , the worst spill in UK waters for over a decade. As well as indulging in some shameless greenwashing (Shell is choosing...

Fishermen at Chilika say, “Protect Ecology and Right to Fish.”

Blog entry by Deven Digwal | August 10, 2011

Chilika is an integral part of the culture of coastal Orissa. Covering a vast area of more than 1000 sq km Chilika is the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia. Some of the very rare species of flora, fauna, mammals and birds are...

Saving the last tree

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | August 9, 2011

It was about 9:00 pm and I had been sitting on the half dead Raintree, 25 ft from the ground for over 7 hours. The sound of djembes being played with all the excitement had disappeared with the sunset, the candle light vigil was...

5 things you didn’t know about Volkswagen

Blog entry by Saraa | August 2, 2011

Last week we showed you evidence of VW actively lobbying in the US against the laws we need to protect our planet. Here are some more facts about Volkswagen that the company doesn't put on its billboards. 1. Only 6 per cent of...

Other Fish in the Sea

Publication | July 25, 2011 at 17:14

The United Artists Association (UAA)and Greenpeace India undertook an independent study in the Gahirmatha region to understand, examine and document perceptions and thoughts of fisher communities on income generation schemes and livelihood...

Sankey road protest-No trees No future

Image gallery | July 19, 2011

Gupti public hearing proves it's better late than never

Blog entry by Areeba Hamid | June 27, 2011

When I realised that the venue we had picked for the second public hearing at Gupti village was the same where Hon’ble Minister Jairam Ramesh conducted his meeting before his decision on POSCO, I didn’t know whether I should be...

Will Sunil Mittal commit to clean energy?

Blog entry by Abhishek Pratap | June 22, 2011

Finally the day had come. It was time to meet Bharti Airtel’s senior management to discuss their diesel phase out and adoption of clean energy plan for its business operation. They had agreed to meet us and discuss these demands after...

The rains didn’t stop, nor did the public hearing at Khairnasi

Blog entry by Areeba Hamid | June 20, 2011

It is still raining as I type this from my room in Bhubaneswar. The newspaper says that the low depression over the Bay of Bengal since the beginning of the week will continue to lash the state for the next 24 hours. This means that...

Turtles + Fishermen = Ecology

Blog entry by Areeba Hamid | June 9, 2011

I remember meeting a journalist in Orissa in 2006 for a story on the high turtle mortalities and being told that Greenpeace would be better off protecting the rights of human beings rather than turtles. After all, when it comes to...

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