Protecting Our Oceans

Half the oxygen we breathe comes from our oceans.

One of our world’s most stunning features, they cover more than 70 percent of the planet, comprise 99 percent of its habitable space, and house the greatest diversity of major plant, animal, and microbial species, from the simplest to the mightiest on earth.

Their importance to all life cannot be underestimated. Oceans regulate the climate, produce half of the earth’s breathable oxygen, and are a huge source of food. For the one billion coastal humans who depend directly upon them, the oceans are life itself.

And because of some pretty careless industrial human activity, our oceans are in a lot of trouble right now.

We’ve made significant progress to turn the tide towards ocean conservation, but a lot more needs to be done in a short time. By working together, we can save the oceans.

Ensuring Sustainable Seafood

The problems taxing the ocean are caused directly by what's available at the seafood counter. As demand for fish grows, destructive fishing and aquaculture continue to increase to meet the demand. We are working to change seafood choices made at a wholesale level by working with supermarket retailers to make sustainable seafood the only choice available. Read more

Spotlight on Tuna

Tuna is one of the world's favorite fish. It provides a critical part of the diet for millions of people, as well as being at the core of the world's luxury sashimi markets. But, did you know that globally tuna stocks are under threat, or that the tuna industry is one of the main drivers behind the shark fin trade?/p>

Our appetite for tuna is pushing several species of sharks, turtles, and tuna closer and closer to extinction. As more and more people consume tuna there has been a surge in the number and capacity of tuna-fishing vessels across the world. Read more

Saving Whales

A few countries, namely Japan, Norway and Iceland, continue to ignore a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling—every year they kill thousands of whales to feed a black market of illegal whale meat.

For more than 40 years Greenpeace has been at the forefront of the fight to end this needless slaughter of one the most magnificent creatures on the planet. We are working to ensure that the Obama administration uses their diplomatic leverage to close the loopholes and end all commercial whaling. Read more

The Bering Sea

The waters of the Bering Sea-—between Alaska and Russia— are a rich marine environment that’s home to a diverse array of wildlife. Polar bears, seals, sea lions, walruses, whales and millions of seabirds make their home here.

The Bering Sea is also one of the most productive fishing spots in the world. But, the fragile ecosystem cannot sustain this level of commercial fishing without paying a price. Read more

The Solution is Marine Reserves

In order to protect the world’s oceans, portions of it have to be left alone. A marine reserve is like putting a giant “Do Not Disturb” sign around an area of the ocean. These protected areas are so important to the future of our oceans—giving wildlife a safe haven free from danger.

We are working to convince governments and the United Nations that marine reserves are critical to the oceans' future. We are advocating for setting aside 40% of the world’s oceans as marine reserves. Read more

 

The latest updates

 

Suit to Be Filed to Protect Arctic Seal Threatened by Global Warming

Media release | March 30, 2009 at 18:00

The Center for Biological Diversity and Greenpeace today notified the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of their intent to file suit against the agency for denying necessary protections under the Endangered Species Act for the...

MANAGEMENT COUNCIL PUTS COMMERCIAL FISHING ‘ON ICE’ IN ARCTIC

Media release | February 4, 2009 at 18:00

In response to today’s Northern Pacific Fisheries Council decision to prevent commercial fishing in the Arctic, Greenpeace oceans campaign director and marine biologist, John Hocevar, issued this statement:

BUSH HOLDOVERS ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE OBAMA FOREIGN POLICY ON WHALING

Media release | January 26, 2009 at 18:00

Just days after the inauguration of President Obama, holdovers from the Bush administration are already attempting to undermine his foreign policy on whaling.

TWO LAWLESS TUNA FISHING ZONES IN PACIFIC CLOSED

Media release | December 11, 2008 at 18:00

Greenpeace declared the outcome of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission a failed compromise – one which is too weak to stop the overfishing of the Pacific bigeye and yellowfin tuna – but applauds the positive decision to close two...

Four U.S. Supermarkets Receive 'Passing' Scores in Greenpeace Seafood Test

Media release | December 8, 2008 at 18:00

In the second edition of Greenpeace’s seafood sustainability scorecard released today, the supermarket chains Whole Foods, Ahold USA, Target and Harris Teeter received “passing” scores indicating a small, but significant shift in purchasing...

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