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

 

Cats love tuna, just a little too much

Blog entry by Kate Simcock | May 18, 2016

Every day, all around the world, people and their pets eat tuna sourced from a Thai seafood conglomerate that has been condemned for destructive fishing methods and a connection to slave labour, including the locking of indentured...

Disruption, change and the growing wave against Thai Union tuna

Blog entry by Tom Lowe | May 14, 2016

The waves are surging higher around the Esperanza today. We’re headed north towards busier fishing areas, the horizon line heaving up and down as the ship barrels every which way amid the rolling, white-peaked swell. Waves crash...

4 reasons to tackle destructive fishing

Blog entry by François Chartier | May 5, 2016

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is at sea stopping the destructive fishing practices of the largest tuna company on the planet – Thai Union – which owns popular tuna brands like John West, Petit Navire, Mareblu and Chicken of the Sea,...

How birdwatching helps stop Thai Union's ocean destruction

Blog entry by François Chartier | April 27, 2016

"I have a visual at two o'clock!" We rush to the 'monkey island', the highest platform of the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, where watchers scan the ocean from sunrise to sunset. The ship changes course and heads towards the small floating...

Biggest Fish: Is This Corporate Giant the Key to Saving the Ocean?

Blog entry by Chris Eaton | April 20, 2016

Thai Union Group -- the owner of Chicken of the Sea canned tuna -- is an industrial monster that has sunk its hooks throughout global seafood markets. Hundreds of thousands of people are taking it on and changing the game for ocean...

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