Fit for the future

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.

The latest updates

 

Support for high seas protection grows stronger despite USA

Blog entry by Rachel Pearlin | 20 June, 2014

This is my first time in New York, but neither the soaring temperatures, the rush nor the crowds seem to faze me, this is nothing compared to India! This is also my first time at a UN meeting, joining experts from all over the world as...

Arctic Sanctuary

Publication | 19 June, 2014 at 15:30

Arctic coastal states are keen to lay claim on the valuable resources found beyond their national boundaries, and they have all submitted applications to extend their polar seabeds. Governments and industry see the opening of the Arctic as yet...

Ocean action in Washington – but High Seas ignored

Blog entry by Daniel Mittler | 17 June, 2014

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, clearly cares about the ocean. He grew up with the sea and backed many progressive ocean policies while in the US Senate. You could feel that emotional connection at the OurOcean conference , which...

Dear John, we need to talk: Will you commit to Our Oceans’ future?

Blog entry by Phil Kline | 27 May, 2014 1 comment

John Kerry, US Secretary of State, has championed environmental protection, ever since the very first Earth Day in 1970. In particular, he has recognised the value of the oceans to us all. He has worked hard for their protection,...

Ocean heroes in a half shell: it's World Turtle Day!

Blog entry by Willie MacKenzie | 23 May, 2014 6 comments

Sea turtles live in the ocean. They don't loiter around so much as cruise the whole sea, taking in shallow coastal lagoons, stopping by seamounts , and crossing the open ocean on high seas highways, only ever returning to land to lay...

Shipment of whale meat from Iceland arrives in Japan

Blog entry by Junichi Sato, Executive Director, Greenpeace Japan | 8 May, 2014 8 comments

We had a strange visitor to Japan yesterday, the Alma, a refrigerated cargo vessel which has sailed all the way from Iceland carrying 2,000 tons of fin whale meat, valued at over 13 million US dollars. It sailed around the tip of...

There are no human rights on a dead planet

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 16 April, 2014 5 comments

Yesterday I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues...

How long before the magnificent marine life of the Bering Sea canyons is given sanctuary?

Blog entry by Farah Obaidullah | 14 April, 2014

I have just sat through four painstaking days of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. It's an eight-day meeting but luckily for me - and my sanity - I only had to endure four. This government body...

SOS - Support Ocean Sanctuaries!

Blog entry by Zelda DT Soriano | 5 April, 2014 1 comment

It was a good meeting for the oceans! This is at least a consolation for not seeing the Statue of Liberty. Coming from Manila, Philippines to New York for the first time it is a shame not to have a selfie with the icon of the city,...

Jelly-burger anyone? Support Ocean Sanctuaries instead!

Blog entry by Sofia Tsenikli | 1 April, 2014

Never heard of a jelly-burger before? Then you must watch this video!   OK - It's April fool's day but jelly-burgers might not be a product of our imagination for long. As scientists like Daniel Pauly and Jennifer Jacquet warn...

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