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

 

And the OSPAR goes to… the Arctic!

Blog entry by Pilar Marcos | April 28, 2015

Yes, that is not a typo. The OSPAR Award. A long awaited Award that the Arctic well deserves. But, what is an OSPAR? The OSPAR Convention is an international agreement of 15 European countries (Arctic and non Arctic states)...

Risky Business: Don't put your money in unsustainable fishing

Blog entry by Nina Thuellen | April 22, 2015

When we trust a bank with our savings and investments, we assume the bank will do only "good" with our hard-earned cash. Yet throughout Europe, and the world, major banks have ploughed massive amounts of money into unsustainable...

Mexico 1 : New Zealand 0

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | April 21, 2015

No, that's not a football score, it's the score-card on how our countries are faring in the protection of two of the world's smallest and cutest marine mammals: Mexico's vaquita porpoise and New Zealand's Maui's dolphin. New Zealand...

Brand new purse seiner raises alarm

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | March 17, 2015

With tuna stocks in trouble and too many fishing boats chasing what's left, reports of new vessels are a cause for alarm. The global fishing fleet is estimated to be two and a half times the size needed to sustainably fish our oceans,...

High Seas Robbery

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | January 16, 2015

Finding illegal fishing vessels in the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean – over 20 million square kilometers of deep, rough and icy waters – sounds like a near impossible task. But it turns out that finding them is the easy part,...

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