Greenpeace Urges Politicians to Follow Markets Lead in Protecting Our Oceans

Press release - 28 October, 2010
Amsterdam - Greenpeace launched a report entitled “Oceans Advocates” (1) showing how consumer pressure is driving retailers to adopt responsible seafood sourcing practices, which in recent years has brought about encouraging changes in the seafood industry. The report is another call-to-action for politicians, many of whom are gathered at the Convention on Biological Diversity (2) in Nagoya, Japan, to follow market players and take action to restore our oceans to health.

“In a surprising reversal, many members of the seafood business community are advancing beyond the business as usual attitude of policy-makers when it comes to our oceans,” said Nina Thuellen, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner. “Although there is still a lot to be done, many retailers across Europe and North America have already changed their seafood procurement practices, increasingly taking sustainability concerns into account. It is unfortunate that policy-makers are lagging behind both consumers and business in taking action to save our oceans, but it is not too late to rescue our oceans for future generations- action is needed now.”

The report “Oceans Advocates” shows how sustainable seafood is no longer merely an option, but a major step forward for the entire seafood sector. By following this step forward, politicians will not only be helping our oceans recover, but will also help the fishing industry survive on the long term.     

“Politicians in the EU, in New Zealand and elsewhere have already acknowledged the significance of the sustainable seafood movement. Now it is crucial that political action is taken to reward those companies that have ventured cutting-edge sustainability initiatives and to establish a level playing field based on best practices for the entire industry,” said Nina Thuellen. Greenpeace believes that fair competition among retailers, traders and the production sector necessitates standardised requirements for production and marketing processes. It is the role of the legislator to design and enforce such common standards and hence ensure fair competition.

Just last week at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan, the United Nations Environment Programme released a report(3) detailing how biodiversity, including ocean life contributes to global bottom lines and environmental protection is key to economic prosperity. Greenpeace is demanding that the CBD produce a plan to save life on earth and delivered a concrete roadmap for governments to chart a course to oceans protection, the Oceans Emergency Rescue Plan(4), in advance of the summit in Japan.

Notes to editor:

(1) The “Oceans Advocates: seafood markets driving change towards sustainable oceans management” is available at:

(2) The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit. It is one of the most important multilateral environmental agreements that exist today. The Biodiversity Convention is in force globally, and to date 193 countries have ratified it. The Convention has three main goals: the conservation of biodiversity (i.e. life on earth); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

(3) The report, “Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature,” is part of a series of reports, called The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity produced by UNEP:

(4) More details about the Emergency Oceans Rescue Plan can be found at

For more information, contact:

Nina Thuellen, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner, +43 6645484553
Lara Teunissen, Greenpeace International communications, +31 646162042