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

 

Billion dollar fishing industry on the verge of collapse

Feature story | October 14, 2008 at 0:00

The world’s largest food fishery is on the verge of collapse. Pollock, used to make McDonald’s fish sandwiches, frozen fish sticks, fish and chips, and imitation crabmeat, have had a population decrease of 50 percent since last year.

Japan has a new whaling commissioner

Blog entry by Nick | September 30, 2008

- Originally posted by Brian over at Greenpeace International So, Japan has a new government. For all of us who have been single-mindedly pursuing a complete end to whaling for decades now, there's only one question that matters:...

Tuna laundering

Blog entry by Nick | September 2, 2008

The pirate fishing vessel, Luna Rossa, cut off its illegal driftnet and fled from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. © Greenpeace / Gavin Parsons There's an interesting story about Tuna over at the Greenpeace International blog ...

The Greenpeace NZ Red Fish List

Blog entry by Nick | August 13, 2008

Meet Sad Fish. He's a little on the rotund side and a tad more furry than most other fish but he's fronting the new seafood campaign here in New Zealand and we're glad to have him on our side. On Sunday over at Kelly Tarlton's...

Greenpeace Red Fish List launched in New Zealand

Feature story | August 10, 2008 at 0:00

Today Greenpeace launched the New Zealand Red Fish List – a guide to help consumers avoid buying fish that comes from the most unsustainable fisheries.

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