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

 

Building a future for fish AND people

Blog entry by Dr Cat Dorey | December 21, 2016

You’d think it would be hard to get emotional about fish and how they’re managed. But at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) emotions ran high - after five long days of tough...

Are there human rights abuses in your seafood?

Blog entry by Anchalee Pipattanawattanakul | December 21, 2016

Migrant workers from Cambodia and Myanmar are being used as forced labour in the Thai fishing industry. Using tricks of deception, non-binding verbal agreements and induced debt, these workers catch fish both for human consumption and...

Kayaktivists just took to the water for biodiversity – and for the communities...

Blog entry by Richard Page | December 16, 2016

Greetings from Cancun, Mexico where I am attending the 13th meeting of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), perhaps more easily understood as the “summit for life on Earth". That the meeting is held in Mexico is highly...

Protecting what protects us

Blog entry by Daniel Mittler | December 7, 2016

The diversity of nature is essential to ensure our planet remains habitable. That is why we need to stand up to all those who endanger the global web of life – those who plunder the Commons for private gain. Back in 1992,...

What will it take to protect the world’s fish and oceans for future generations?

Blog entry by Dr Cat Dorey | December 2, 2016

I don’t speak tuna . And I fear my ability to sign in shark could be fatally misconstrued. But next week when people from all around the Pacific and beyond meet in Fiji to discuss the future of fisheries in the region, our finned...

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