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

 

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. ...

Pole and Line

Feature story | December 14, 2012 at 15:14

Ali Saeed, master fisherman, operates one of the largest 'dhoni' fishing boats from the island of Hulhumeedhoo in the Addu atoll. He inherited his first fishing boat from his father 25 years ago while aged just 20. His island community, home to 4...

Tuna Tuesday triumphs

Blog entry by Phil Crawford | December 4, 2012

This Tuesday is turning out to be big day of our tuna campaign. This morning John West joined the global movement to phase out destructive tuna fishing methods and this evening a one hour documentary on our campaign to halt the...

Progress! Australia creates the world’s largest network of marine reserves

Blog entry by Veronica Frank | November 20, 2012

"We don't want people to only know the magnificence of their oceans through aquariums or by watching 'Finding Nemo'," Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke was reported saying as he announced the creation of the world’s largest...

A taste of ocean voyaging life on the new Rainbow Warrior

Blog entry by Dominico Zapata | November 12, 2012

Last night I awoke from my rambling slumber to the sound of alarms going off, a high-pitched tone, piercing the darkness in the middle of the night. It was nothing major, just the engineers alarm, so I went back to sleep. A couple of...

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