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

 

Greenpeace urges Cairns tuna summit to end overfishing and control fleets

Press release | December 2, 2013 at 8:38

Suva - Greenpeace activists yesterday deployed a floating banner at a harbour in the Pacific, reading: “Fewer boats more fish WCPFC Act Now!”

Longline fisheries are out of line – Greenpeace

Press release | November 21, 2013 at 12:17

Auckland – The world's longline tuna fisheries are out of control, and distant water fishing powers and Pacific island countries need to increase their management and oversight, Greenpeace warns in a new report launched today.

Sealord lonely cheerleader for deadly fishing method

Press release | March 20, 2013 at 12:31

Auckland, 20 March 2013 – Sealord is now the only big Australasian canned tuna brand which has refused to stop using a destructive fishing method which kills sharks, juvenile tuna and turtles, Greenpeace warned today.

Tuna plunder to continue as governments fail to clamp down on overfishing – Greenpeace

Press release | December 10, 2012 at 14:19

Auckland, 8 December 2012 - Governments charged with protecting fish stocks in the Pacific are allowing the continued plunder of the region's declining bigeye tuna stocks while also putting yellowfin, skipjack and albacore tuna at risk of...

John West cans destructive fishing, Sealord urged to do the same

Press release | December 4, 2012 at 15:23

Auckland, 4 December 2012 – Greenpeace says Sealord must follow its competitor, Australian brand John West, which has just announced it will stop using destructive tuna fishing methods that needlessly kill sharks, rays, baby tuna and turtles.

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