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.

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.

Defending our oceans

Fundamental changes need to be made in the way our oceans are managed. This means that we must act to make sure that human activities are sustainable, in other words that they meet human needs of current and future generations without causing harm to the environment.

Accordingly, governments must set aside 40 percent of our oceans as marine reserves. Marine reserves can be defined as areas of the ocean in which the exploitation of all living resources is prevented, together with the exploitation of non-living resources such as sand and gravel and other minerals.

The latest updates

 

To ensure fish for the future

Blog entry by Zelda DT Soriano | April 7, 2017

I couldn’t stop thinking of my favorite Galunggong fish (roundscad) back in the Philippines while observing a meeting of world’s governments at the United Nations in New York! Popularly known as poor man’s fish in my country due to its...

The power of your plate

Blog entry by Vince Cinches | March 7, 2017

For a country of 7,641 islands with a population of more than 100 million, more than half of which are living in coastal areas, an empty ocean means food insecurity, malnutrition, and further hardships to our fisher folk, who have been...

A Plastic Free Christmas Message

Blog entry by Anna Dawson | December 16, 2016 1 comment

It is the season to be jolly, to be holy, to love and to give. And it is in the last act, the act of giving, where we struggle at Christmas time. Malls bulge with the influx of shoppers buying gifts to show their loved ones just how...

Why is CITES important for us Filipinos?

Blog entry by Dennis Bryan Bait-it | September 29, 2016

After traveling thousands of miles from the beautiful island paradise of Malapascua in the Philippines, I am now in Johannesburg, South Africa, to tell the stories about how thresher sharks are valuable not just to our oceans, but to...

New Zealander cycles the Philippines coasts to raise awareness about ocean plastic

Blog entry by Abigail Aguilar | September 28, 2016

Anna Dawson is no stranger to Philippine coastlines, having lived and worked in the country since 2008. However, her next challenge will be one of the biggest yet. From September to December 2016, the New Zealander is cycling 2,000km...

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