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

 

International Biodiversity Day in photos

Blog entry by Bustar Maitar | 22 May, 2013 3 comments

On this International Day for Biological Diversity, we want to show you stunning images from one of the world’s richest places in biodiversity: Indonesia. From whale sharks, to abundant coral reefs and forests teeming with life, the...

Artisanal Fishing In Mauritius

Slideshow | 15 May, 2013

Sailing through the world’s richest waters – Rainbow Warrior arrives in Indonesia

Blog entry by Bustar Maitar | 9 May, 2013 5 comments

I grew up in West Papua, which sits in the far west of the world’s biggest archipelago. I studied forestry in the province’s capital, but grew up in another city called Jayapura. If West Papua is considered frontier land, then Jayapura...

United we sail – Mauritian fishermen, Greenpeace protest against overfishing

Blog entry by Oliver Knowles | 6 May, 2013 5 comments

This week, politicians, scientists and fisheries managers from around the world are coming to Mauritius to attend the annual Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meeting. This organisation is charged by governments to protect tuna...

Oceans in the Balance

Publication | 6 May, 2013 at 11:00

SECOND EDITION - Updated May 2013 Every second breath we take comes from the ocean. Billions of people rely on our oceans for their food and for employment. In return, we are plundering the oceans of fish, choking them with pollution and...

Floating freezers full of tuna, but where did it come from?

Blog entry by Francois Chartier | 3 May, 2013 3 comments

On the shimmering blue high seas, there is a grey area. Known as transshipping, this common practise of transferring fish catches from one vessel to another is also a loophole, as it can lead to fish from illegal sources getting into...

The Need for a High Seas Biodiversity Agreement

Publication | 2 May, 2013 at 15:43

The current way of managing the high seas puts short-term corporate interests before the long-term health of our oceans. Unless action is taken to restore and protect the health of our oceans, they will be unable to sustain life on Earth.

How are you celebrating World Penguin Day?

Blog entry by Willie Mackenzie - oceans campaigner | 25 April, 2013 5 comments

It’s World Penguin Day today, and a fine excuse to celebrate the majesty and silliness of fine-flippered friends. In that spirit, I thought it would be good to pull together some fun facts about penguins. Some are fun, some are facts...

Painting the Premier in Port Louis

Blog entry by François Chartier | 23 April, 2013

After chasing the notorious South Korean ship Premier for several days, a group of Greenpeace International activists entered Port Louis in Mauritius on Sunday morning, determined to take action against the Dongwon Industries-owned...

Ending the overfishing crisis

Blog entry by Aaron Gray-Block | 18 April, 2013 3 comments

Less than six months after sailing through the Indian Ocean last year, Greenpeace has returned to the region to help end overfishing and create sustainable tuna fisheries that bring real economic benefits to coastal communities. ...

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