Defending our oceans

Seen from space the Earth is covered in a blue mantle. It is a planet on which the continents are dwarfed by the oceans surrounding them and the immensity of the marine realm. It could be called Planet Ocean.

A staggering 80 percent of all the life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and this vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet.

The oceans provide vital sources of protein, energy, minerals and other products of use the world over and the rolling of the sea across the planet creates over half our oxygen, drives weather systems and natural flows of energy and nutrients around the world, transports water masses many times greater than all the rivers on land combined and keeps the Earth habitable.

Without the global ocean there would be no life on Earth.

It is gravely worrying, then, that we are damaging the oceans on a scale that is unimaginable to most people.

We now know that human activity can have serious impacts on the vital forces governing our planet.  We have fundamentally changed our global climate and are just beginning to understand the consequences of that.

As yet largely unseen, but just as serious, are the impacts we are having on the oceans.

A healthy ocean has diverse ecosystems and robust habitats.  The actual state of our oceans is a far cry from this natural norm.

A myriad of human pressures are being exerted both directly and indirectly on ocean ecosystems the world over. Consequently ecosystems are collapsing as marine species are driven towards extinction and ocean habitats are destroyed.  Degraded and stripped of their diversity, ocean ecosystems are losing their inherent resilience.

We need to defend our oceans because without them, life on Earth cannot exist.

Dead oceans, dead planet

We need to defend them now more than ever, because the oceans need all the resilience they can muster in the face of climate change and the potentially disasterous impacts this is already beginning to produce in the marine world.

The Greenpeace Defending our Oceans campaign sets out to protect and preserve our oceans now and for the future by setting aside swathes of the global oceans from exploitation and controllable human pressure, allowing these areas the respite they so desperately need for recovery and renewal.

Building on a protection and recovery system established to manage land based over-exploitation, Marine Reserves are the ocean equivalent of national parks.

Marine Reserves are a scientifically developed and endorsed approach to redressing the crisis in our oceans which work alongside a range of other measures designed to ensure that the demands we make of our oceans are managed sustainably.

Beyond Marine Reserves we need to tackle a great many threats to the oceans' viability and find better ways of managing their resources.  To this end, while Greenpeace campaigns for Marine Reserves, we also campaign against the acts which have brought the oceans to this point - we expose the countless pressures, reveal the threats, confront the villains and point to the solutions and measures necessary to create sustainable oceans.

The latest updates

 

Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’

Blog entry by Heather Braid | December 17, 2014

I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so I jumped at the chance...

Sustainable St... #WCPFC turn here!

Blog entry by Lagi Toribau | December 5, 2014

Fish don’t talk, but if they did they'd be asking the Pacific Tuna Commission just how rare they need to become before anyone will step in to save them." Fish don’t talk, but fishing industry people do… operational level data. FAD ban...

How Greenpeace may be about to stop US$150 million getting into a dodgy fishing company

Blog entry by Elsa Lee | October 17, 2014

Seeing Greenpeace in the leading headline of Hong Kong's most prestigious financial newspaper is not something I am used to! But if you knew why, you would see how your support is bringing companies engaged in overfishing to their...

Seismic testing stopped in Norway but coming soon to Northland

Blog entry by Mike Smith | August 22, 2014

Seismic testing for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been stopped one month ahead of schedule 4 days after Greenpeace exposed it to the media. But off the coast of Northland in...

8 Fictional Sea Creatures Who Have Flirted with Disaster

Blog entry by John Dunford | June 6, 2014

The chicken or the egg? John or George? Could Jurassic Park actually, really happen?! Certain classic debates are enormously divisive. Thankfully though we can now put one that has long plagued humanity to bed as we bring you the ...

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