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

 

United we sail – Mauritian fishermen, Greenpeace protest against overfishing

Blog entry by Oliver Knowles | May 7, 2013

This week, politicians, scientists and fisheries managers from around the world are coming to Mauritius to attend the annual Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) meeting. This organisation is charged by governments to protect tuna...

How much scandal can fit in one can of tuna?

Blog entry by Casson Trenner | March 25, 2013

ID: GP02HWGAirship Canned Tuna Banner ActionThe Greenpeace airship A.E. Bates flies  by the La Jolla peninsula near the headquarters of Chicken of the Sea canned tuna company to call attention to overfishing and bycatch issues. ...

The global tuna industry is increasingly an industry divided

Blog entry by Oliver Knowles | March 22, 2013

The recent news from Australia that Aldi, the last of the major companies in that market holding out against introducing sustainable tuna, has now decided to join the growing band of progressive companies delivering sustainable tuna to...

Whale-Oil Blog

Blog entry by Dean Baigent-Mercer | February 4, 2013

New Zealand waters are home to 47 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, which is over half the world’s 80 species of cetaceans. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Of course things aren’t all chilled out in cetacean-world what with fishing nets,...

Sealord takes a step but still at the back of the pack

Blog entry by Karli Thomas | January 31, 2013

For close to two years we’ve been asking Sealord, New Zealand’s largest brand of canned tuna, to stop selling tuna which is caught using a method that destroys countless marine creatures, including sharks, baby tuna and turtles. ...

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