What We Do: Protecting Our Oceans

Dive into Greenpeace's Oceans campaign and learn how you can help us stop overfishing, end commercial whaling, and create worldwide marine reserves - including the Bering Sea.

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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


Greenpeace Responds To Iceland's Proposed Whale Hunt

Media release | August 5, 2003 at 18:00

Greenpeace is deeply concerned with the Government of Iceland's announcement on August 6, 2003 that it is moving back into commercial whaling and fear the move will further jeopardize the future of whales.

Whales in Peril: More Whales are Lost to Norwegian and Japanese Whaling than in Beachings

Media release | August 3, 2002 at 18:00

Though the public is understandably disturbed by recent beachings in Cape Cod, the situation cannot compare to the largest threat to whales: commercial whaling.

Whales Endure Threat from Japan

Media release | May 23, 2002 at 18:00

The major recruiting and vote-buying initiative by the Fisheries Agency of Japan was not enough to end the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling. As the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), held in Shimonoseki, Japan, the...

Japanese Put Whales on Chopping Block

Media release | May 16, 2002 at 18:00

For the first time since a global ban on hunting whales was implemented by IWC member countries in 1986, Japan is poised to win resumption of large-scale commercial whaling.

Norway to Resume Trade in Whale Blubber

Media release | January 15, 2001 at 18:00

Greenpeace strongly criticized the Norwegian government for lifting the ban on exports of whale products earlier today. Just last year at the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), over 2000 delegates from around the world voted...

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