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

 

Pacific tuna need our help

Blog entry by Neha | November 11, 2010

Most people think of tuna in terms of how it tastes – whether it be raw in sushi and sashimi or from a can in a tuna sandwich or salad. But very few realise that tuna is being overfished to the point that some species have reached the ...

Rescuing our oceans, in the International Year of Biodiversity

Blog entry by Willie | November 2, 2010

Explore our new interactive map  - with videos and slideshows explaining why our oceans need Marine Reserves now. 2010 is the  International Year of Biodiversity . It is also the year when international agreements and meetings have...

Farewell, fishing?

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | November 1, 2010

It’s hard to tell if it is a simple faux pas or a grim prophetic view of what’s to come. Philippine media outlet Sun Star reported recently a new fishing vessel acquired under a joint venture between a local fishing tycoon and...

Seafood boss has fishy view on bottom trawling

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | October 27, 2010

The Seafood Industry Association's boss, Peter Bodeker is right on one thing: Good reputations are hard to earn and easy to lose. And it's for exactly that reason that the fishing industry should be appalled at the environmental...

Projecting Change at Biodiversity Meeting in Japan

Blog entry by Kaoru Narisawa | October 20, 2010

In the opening ceremony of the CBD here in Nagoya, Japan, Japanese Foreign Minister Matsumoto (also chair of the conference) reminded delegates that biodiversity is the legacy we will leave our children. Greenpeace is here at CBD COP10...

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