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


Our first tuna ship contact

Blog entry by Rainbow Warrior | 7 August, 2015 1 comment

The Pacific is a big ocean. You can sail for days without seeing another ship (as we just did). But now we're in the fishing grounds, and starting to spot fishing vessels. Knowing where to go There're some things you can't know...

Desperately Seeking: South Pacific Albacore tuna

Blog entry by Dr. Cat Dorey | 7 August, 2015 1 comment

There's a tendency, outside my science world at least, to talk about 'tuna' as if it was one species of fish. In fact tuna is a generic name for a whole bunch of tuna and mackerel species. As well as the main commercial species of...

Pacific tuna fishing is out of control

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 4 August, 2015

Out in the Pacific Ocean thousands of fishing vessels are working around the clock to pull tuna out of the sea as fast as they can. A Taiwanese longline fishing vessel, just one of thousands of tuna boats fishing the Pacific...

#MisionVaquita's sea patrol comes to an end

Blog entry by Maïa Booker | 3 August, 2015 1 comment

The findings from the Esperanza's most recent research spell trouble for the vaquita. For the past seven days, activists onboard the Esperanza have been patrolling the Gulf of California waters for illegal fishing nets. In that period,...

These are the videos the tuna industry doesn't want you to see

Blog entry by John Hocevar | 30 July, 2015 1 comment

This week, Greenpeace USA released five new video testimonials from Pacific tuna fishermen detailing the horrible conditions they've worked under. The interviews – conducted in a South Pacific port earlier this year – reveal incidents...

The Esperanza is on #misionvaquita

Blog entry by Maïa Booker | 23 July, 2015 2 comments

The Esperanza is in the Gulf of California right now, patrolling the waters to document the continued and illegal presence of gill-nets. These fishing nets are mostly responsible for the rapidly declining numbers of vaquitas – the most...

There's slavery in the seafood industry. Here's what we can do about it.

Blog entry by David Pinsky | 22 July, 2015

There's no easy way to say this: The seafood at your local supermarket may be connected to slavery. It's heartbreaking. Fishing operators in over 50 countries around the world are crewing ships through human trafficking networks...

Breakthrough! Saving the vaquita just got one step closer

Blog entry by Gloria Chang | 2 July, 2015 2 comments

Remember these little guys? There are only 97 vaquita left in the world and you’ve been part of a global campaign to save them. In fact, in just the last 5 weeks, 100,000 of you have stood up and demanded they be protected. And good...

OSPAR: The Arctic can't wait

Blog entry by Jon Burgwald | 22 June, 2015

Government representatives from 15 countries, including the European Union, are meeting this week in Ostend, Belgium. These countries make up the OSPAR Commission which regulates the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. A big part of the...

It’s official! United Nations decide to develop a High Seas Biodiversity Agreement

Blog entry by Sofia Tsenikli | 19 June, 2015

No reason to deny it – making it official makes things a tad more real! Today the United Nations General Assembly formally decided to develop a High Seas Biodiversity Agreement, endorsing the breakthrough outcome of the UN...

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