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

 

Anti-whaling activists wrongly convicted

Feature story | September 6, 2010 at 20:03

Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, known as the Tokyo Two, exposed widespread corruption in Japan's whaling programme - in return, they have been handed a one year suspended prison sentence. (This means they do not have to go to jail).

The Tokyo Two: Whaling, Activism, and Human Rights

Blog entry by Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki | September 3, 2010

This will be the first blog Toru and I have written together, as up until recently our heavy bail restrictions have meant that we could not be in the same room or even talk to each other without a lawyer present. The verdict in...

The trouble with tuna

Blog entry by Willie | August 26, 2010

When you get a bit close to a subject, you get geeky. Before you know it you are scoffing at how other people could possible  not know  something, because you do. Yet of course it's true that the vast majority of the public are very...

Talking fish and wailing whales

Blog entry by Phil | July 9, 2010

Life in the ocean is not as serene as it seems according to two news reports this week. A marine scientist at Auckland university, who has been eavesdropping on fish says he has proof that they “talk” to each other. Meanwhile, in...

Whale Fail

Blog entry by Phil | June 24, 2010

The town of Sidi R’bat on Morocco’s Atlantic coast is where the biblical Jonah is said to have been vomited up by a whale. Less than 100km from that spot, something has been going on this week that is again enough to make a whale sick...

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