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

 

More fish in the sea

Blog entry by Duncan Williams | November 18, 2013

Our Pacific oceans campaign is focused on ensuring sustainable and equitable fishing in the Pacific. ©Paul Hilton/Greenpeace   Fishing in the pacific is, quite simply put, unfair. Pacific island countries receive a...

Real pirates plunder and steal

Blog entry by Szabina Mozes | October 21, 2013

It is now more than 30 days since our ship was seized and our 30 friends and colleagues were arrested. They now face a charge of piracy — an absurd charge that carries a maximum 15 year jail sentence.  In the meantime pirate fishing...

Shark finning sucks. Sort it out New Zealand!

Blog entry by Willie Mackenzie | August 30, 2013

There’s nothing defensible about shark finning . It’s the marine equivalent of the poachers who kill rhinos to hack off their horns or kill elephants to hack off their tusks. It’s not dissimilar to killing bears or tigers for spurious...

The EnvironmentaLIST: The worst things the tuna industry does to our oceans

Blog entry by Cassady Sharp | August 13, 2013

When what you do is hundreds of miles from civilization, it’s pretty easy to get away with some messed up stuff.  The tuna industry in particular can reap the benefits of an “out of sight, out of mind” existence. Here are some of the...

Pacific Island countries to surf the sustainable tuna wave

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | August 8, 2013

You can be confident that the Fair Trade coffee you grab on the way to work helps support local coffee producers in countries from Tanzania to Costa Rica. Sadly, right now the same can’t be said for the tinned tuna on your sandwich...

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