Fit for the future
We stand with everyone who wants healthy oceans for our children, who want marine life to thrive and the fishing industry to give jobs and a future for millions. We will be part of the movement that works to create and protect clean seas that bring life to our planet.
Healthy oceans can fight many impacts of climate change. Ocean sanctuaries, also known as marine reserves, teem with life, their waters are healthier and better able to resist or absorb the impacts of climate change. Climate change is altering the very nature of the oceans, changes in water temperature are causing species to move to warmer or cooler waters and in some parts of the ocean damaging the building blocks of the food web. Powerful sea currents that regulate our weather are changing dramatically and the ice is melting at an increasing rate in the Arctic and areas of Antarctic.
Scientists warn the subsequent rising sea levels will flood low-lying land and wipe out entire islands in our lifetime. Healthy bodies are better at fighting disease and it is the same for the oceans. Find out how.
Letting science and common sense determine how many fish we can catch instead of allowing greedy industries and politicians to decide would end overfishing overnight! Well, maybe not overnight, but a lot faster than we are now. Overfishingis the most obvious example of the worst kind of management of our natural resources. The experts already know there are too many boats chasing too few fish. Even the world’s favourite fish – tuna – is at risk.
The fishermen know it too, but rather than slow down, the majority of fishing companies are still netting and hooking faster than the fish can reproduce and we are already driving entire populations to collapse. Once one stock is gone the boats simply move on to the next one. Modern technology has given us the capability to explore the ocean far more than ever before, but it has also equipped massive boats to search out fish stocks in the far reaches and depths of the oceans that, until now, nature had kept off limits. There is an imbalance. We are slowly exploring and learning about our oceans, while at the same time as the rate of exploitation accelerates, meaning that we may be destroying species before they have been discovered and described. So how can we bring back the balance?
Let’s make piracy history. Unfair fishingis a polite way to talk about pirates and cheats, who sail without licenses, without regulation or accountability, often in African waters and the Pacific.
And it is not just the masked sailors at sea who are stealing food from poor communities; it’s the company bosses on land as well. Greenpeace is naming and shaming the pirates and, with your help, can cut off their markets. Ending piracy starts here.
Knowing how your fish is caught and at what cost to other marine life, is as important and which fish and where it is landed. Bycatch is a technical name that in reality means an appalling, unnecessary waste of ocean life. Fishing companies often only want one or two particular species to sell. But their nets and trawls catch anything in their way. More than 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises are caught and killed in nets every year. Turtles, sharks, other unwanted fish are trapped and then just shoved over the side, dead or dying. Sometimes the bycatch can account for as much as 90% of the haul. No sane farmer would use a machine that cuts down an entire orchard just for one apple – it should not happen at sea either. Destructive fishing not only affects the fish populations, but also other species and their ocean homes. There are many different fishing methods that result in huge levels of bycatch.
Read more about how stop turtles, whales and sharks drowning in fishing nets
Make politicians prove they are serious about marine protection by really ending whaling. Whales are icons of our oceans. Their story of being hunted to the brink of extinction, one species after another, is the lesson the fishing industry is refusing to learn. Millions of people were part of the global campaign to stop commercial whaling nearly thirty years ago. But like so many other ocean agreements – the rules are being bent and ignored, and still whales are hunted. Even more are killed as bycatch, through pollution and ship strikes. These mighty titans of the ocean are a warning about how we treat our seas - a warning that we can no longer ignore. Read the story of the whales.
If we stop using the oceans as a giant dumpsite it wouldn’t be choked with plastic, oil and chemicals. We dump more garbage in the ocean than the weight of fish we take out. Pollutionon land has a massive impact at sea. Imagine a Trash Vortex about the size of Afghanistan, (or Texas, Turkey, the Ukraine or Zambia) endlessly swirling around, full of our plastic rubbish. It’s not imaginary – it’s real. Creeping dead zones in the ocean that can be seen from space are another direct result of our land-based habits. While oil spills at sea may grab the headlines, it is daily oil run-off from land that clogs up more ocean life. Find out where your garbage goes and if we have collected it
Ocean protection begins on land. It begins we each of us.
Along with eminent scientists from around the world, we believe that a global network of ocean sanctuaries (also called marine reserves), will give our oceans the breathing space they need to recover and keep our planet (and us) breathing in the future.
Join the call for oceans sanctuaries and find out what else you can do to be part of building oceans fit for the future.