Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains common questions related to the campaign that will hopefully get you to understand why it is important that you participate actively in helping protect our oceans, the incredibly rich life they support and promoting sustainable, legal and regulated fishing in our waters.

We will continually add more relevant questions based on your feedback. So please send them to

  • What is the Esperanza doing in India?

    The M/Y (Motor Yacht) Esperanza is visiting India between 10th of February and 3rd March 2012. Over the course of this trip, the ship will serve as a key platform to build support for the urgent need of protecting our oceans. We will be investigating cases of illegal industrial fishing in the Indian EEZ, a lot of which is done by vessels of foreign origin.

  • What is an example of illegal fishing?

    Within the Indian EEZ only Indian vessels are allowed to fish. But a big part of all fishing is being done under the so-called Letter of Permit scheme (LoP), which enables foreign vessels to fish under the Indian flag. Within the Indian EEZ only Indian vessels are allowed to fish. Unfortunately, the overall governance of the scheme is failing.

  • What is the ecosystem approach to fishing?

    Simply put, an ecosystem approach implies fishing for various species in way that works in tandem with an ecosystem. Sometimes it implies closing off certain areas from fishing to help fish stocks rejuvenate. Fish eaters can help by being conscious about where their fish is coming from. Unfortunately, we dont have sustainable fish certification measures in India, but if we make sure that the fish we eat is caught locally, not farmed and caught through sustainable means, that will go a long way in ensuring that fish populations improve. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know the where the fish on your plate is coming from, but if more consumers demand it, it will become that much more easier to know!

  • What effect does illegal fishing have on India’s fisheries?

    These operations, over time, have increasingly compromised the livelihoods of millions of traditional fisher communities, causing economic losses to India by way of exploitation of fishery resources at highly subsidised rates, outright poaching and significantly impacting key marine habitats and ecosystems in the Indian EEZ.

  • This has been going on for a while: why is this tour scheduled now?

    As a mark of its commitment to biodiversity conservation, India will host the eleventh Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2012. The Conference to be held in Hyderabad, will also commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. As host nation, COP 11 creates pressure on India to show itself as a progressive and important player on the global stage. India will have a major role setting an example in ocean conservation through its own actions and fostering consensus amongst other countries.

  • How can India profile itself as a champion country?

    India has the opportunity to emerge as a champion country by pushing marine biodiversity as one of the priority agendas for the COP, making an in-principle commitment to declare a marine reserve (3) in its EEZ. And last but not least: highlighting the need for a formal negotiation process for a new UN High Seas Biodiversity Agreement. But in order to be a champion, India first has to negotiate its own fisheries problems, the ones Greenpeace is addressing with this campaign and ship tour.

  • What are Marine Reserves?

    Marine Reserves are area at sea closed to any form of exploitation. They are often referred to as no-take zones, setting certain areas aside as ‘no-take’ marine reserves, which would allow the fish populations to rejuvenate, like sanctuaries on land. It is essential that rights of local communities are recognized while earmarking these areas, like their right of free passage to reach their fishing grounds and the possibilities of non-impactful and traditional fishing methods allowed in the case of near-shore areas.

  • What is so important about this CBD?

    2012 is the deadline that countries set themselves in 2004 at the World Summit of Sustainable Development to establish a global network of marine protected areas, a target that they will fail to achieve. The CBD COP 11 will follow shortly after the Rio 2012 Earth Summit, which is taking place in June 2012 and will also have a strong emphasis on conservation of marine biodiversity. It will be important for governments at the CBD meeting to show the world they are taking action to declare a marine reserve in its EEZ and last but not least: highlighting the need for a formal negotiation process for a new UN High Seas Biodiversity Agreement.

  • What does a High seas Biodiversity Agreement mean?

    The high seas, waters outside the EEZ of countries, lack any form of governance or protection. There are the “wild west’ where no laws apply and therefore these waters are open to overfishing and destruction with no sanctions in place. A High seas biodiversity agreement can provide better governance and possibilities for the establishment of marine reserves.

  • What exactly is the Greenpeace campaign aiming at?

    Our recently launched campaign is aimed at addressing the governance gaps and loop-holes which currently exist in the management of marine fisheries in India, especially in regulating the fishing operations of vessels of foreign origin in India’s EEZ. 1. We are asking the ministry of agriculture (MoA), the nodal point for fisheries management in India to initiate an investigation into the illegal fishing operations that take place within the Indian EEZ. Thorough investigation into the inherent loop-holes within the scheme including any reported case of dual registration and other irregularities. 2. Ensure preferential access to the EEZ for the Indian fishing sector, with particular emphasis on the traditional fishermen. Specifically, aim to empower Indian fishers to participate in EEZ fishing through training, capacity-building and protection and conservation of their resource 3. Adopt an ecosystem and precautionary approach to fisheries 4. Consider the closure of areas further out in the EEZ (to all extractive activities) which would contribute to the replenishment of fish stocks, and preservation of key marine habitats and ecosystems

On this page