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

 

Indian oil deal funds Arctic destruction

Blog entry by Hozefa Merchant | June 7, 2011

The powers that be in our government and the corporate influence behind it,  are all canoodling behind the scenes. They’ll soon announce a deal that’ll give Cairn Energy 9 billion US dollars to fund its Arctic destruction plans. ...

Climate's phone connection

Blog entry by Abhishek Pratap | May 26, 2011

I got my first mobile phone almost six years ago. It was a second-hand Nokia 3310 passed on to me by my elder brother. At that time, I was working in the far-off western border of Kutch, for the protection of children’s rights. The...

The Arctic is melting faster than expected

Blog entry by Michelle Frey | May 6, 2011

The Arctic is melting faster than expected and could contribute 2-3 feet more in global sea levels by 2100 than earlier thought, experts state in a new report. The report shatters predictions made four years ago by the authoritative U...

Tata and the turtles. How environmental activism triggered a complex trademark dispute

Feature story | April 13, 2011 at 11:33

The following article was featured as a cover story in the March 2011 issue of India Business Law Journal. It is written by Rebecca Abraham.

Daily News: On Nuclear Debate

Blog entry by Angela S | March 16, 2011

Top News: Our thoughts remain with people of Japan today as the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached another critical phase. Radiation is feared to have leaked after apparent hydrogen blasts at two more reactors. The...

Good news for the fishes?

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | March 11, 2011

In what should be good news for India’s neglected seas, Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment & Forest, has promised to address   the bias towards terrestrial biodiversity conservation in India, by getting his ministry to pay more...

VICTORY! You pushed Princes to start protecting our oceans

Feature story | March 9, 2011 at 20:09

It is with enormous pleasure that we can reveal a groundbreaking victory for our oceans campaign: Princes, a leading tinned tuna brand, finally got your message that canning ocean destruction is unacceptable. Thanks to your efforts - the company...

Victory in Indonesia!

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | February 9, 2011

It’s a landmark day in the battle to stop the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests, and to save its orangutans, tigers and other biodiversity. Today at a press conference in Jakarta, Golden Agri Resources (GAR), the palm oil arm...

TATA vs Turtles stays!

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | January 28, 2011

“Congratulations, we won!” that was an excited but restrained Advocate Saikrishna Rajgopal, calling to inform me that the Delhi High Court had dismissed the TATA's plea for an interim injunction against Greenpeace’s TATA vs Turtle...

Cancun leaves us with some hope

Blog entry by Siddharth Pathak, Picture:Elizabeth Ruiz / Greenpe | January 7, 2011

The Cancun climate summit, or COP 16, in terms of negotiation was a pleasant surprise after the debacle at Copenhagen. In Cancun, countries were able to achieve foundational progress on critical issues and come to a common...

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