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

 

Calling for Pacific marine reserves in Taiwan

Blog entry by Ronetava Ronaivakulu | January 18, 2011

Bula. My name is Ronetava Ronaivakulua (you can call me Ron) and I’m from an island in the South Pacific called Fiji. I'm currently onboard the Rainbow Warrior on its East Asia Ocean Defenders tour in Taiwan. I'm here as a...

Looking for tuna in Taiwan

Blog entry by Apple Chow | January 14, 2011

The ship has already left windy and rainy Keelung and we just arrived at the second stop of the Ocean Defenders East Asia tour , Su-ao in eastern Taiwan. Suao is the second largest tuna fishery port in Taiwan. At 7am the following...

A personal history with the Rainbow Warrior

Blog entry by Chris Hay | January 11, 2011

Last week we took the office staff from Greenpeace's new office in Taipei on the 3 hour train trip to Taiwan's eastern port of Hualien. The Rainbow Warrior was there doing some last minute maintenance before the start of the Ocean...

Defending our Pacific Ocean: Rainbow Warrior arrives in Taiwan

Blog entry by Sari Tolvanen | January 3, 2011

The new year has started with a big bang for Greenpeace and the oceans over here in East Asia and the Pacific. There's a pile of coinciding historical events including the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace, the final voyage of the...

Whaling on trial: Vindication!

Feature story | December 25, 2010 at 13:11

December 23, 2010 TOKYO: After two and a half years of hard work in Japan to expose corruption at the heart of the whaling industry - we have a significant victory!

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