Blog: Oceans

Why the South Atlantic should be a sanctuary for whales.

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 4:34pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

One of the most significant issues being discussed and voted on at the upcoming International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Slovenia is the call to create a Whale Sanctuary in the South Atlantic. But what is a whale sanctuary? Why does it matter? And what’s so special about the South Atlantic?

A brief history of whales and commercial whaling

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 3:58pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton

Commercial whaling devastated the world’s biggest whale species, pushing some of them to the very brink of extinction in the early to mid 20th Century. Whaling for meat, oil, or whalebone was not a new idea, but new explosive harpoons and industrialised factory ships plundering the seas for whales had an even more catastrophic impact than what had come in centuries before.

It was the realisation that catches were declining that led to the creation, by whaling nations, of an organisation that would become the ‘International Whaling Commission’ (IWC).

International Whaling Commission meeting 2016 – what to expect.

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 2:59pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton
Sperm Whales in Sri Lanka

Delegations from global governments, and representatives from NGOs are currently on their way to Slovenia for the biennial meeting of the International Whaling Commission meeting – so here’s a quick synopsis of what to expect from the meeting:

New trade protections for sharks - but are they enough?

Posted by Willie — 19 October 2016 at 10:01am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: BBC, Carlos Aguilera
Hoo-RAY! A Mobular ray leaps from the ocean after hearing about the new CITES protection for sharks.

Like it or not, around the world many species of animals are seen as tradeable commodities – for things like food, fur, fashion or medicine. Of course we know that historically hunting animals for commercial gain has often been really bad news for the animals concerned. Just stop and think about some of the most recognisable big land mammals – things like tigers, elephants and rhinos – and it’s pretty evident what trade can do to even well-known beasts, pushing many of them to the very brink of extinction.

Time to transform our fishing industry: for fishermen and the ocean.

Posted by Alix FOSTER VAN... — 28 September 2016 at 3:31pm - Comments
George Eustice signing a petition asking the Government to reallocate quota.
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
George Eustice signing a Greenpeace petition asking the Government to reallocate fishing quota.

George Eustice MP, fisheries minister has the power to transform the UK’s fishing industry. Will he use it?

The lowdown on UN's SOFIA report: 89.5% of fish are now fully or overfished

Posted by Fiona Nicholls — 23 September 2016 at 4:39pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

The SOFIA report is a biennial publication that outlines the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture of the previous two years, hence the name. Commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (‘for a world without hunger,’ is their tagline), the report is a big deal in the world of fish. It’s considered a check up on the state of the world’s fish stocks and our consumption.

Will George Eustice finally create a fair deal for small-scale fishermen?

Posted by Alix FOSTER VAN... — 15 September 2016 at 4:52pm - Comments
George Eustice signing a Greenpeace petition asking the Government to reallocate
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
George Eustice signing a petition asking the government to create a fair deal for small-scale fishermen.

(Guest blog by Frances Rankin)

Fisheries Minister George Eustice was at the House of Lords yesterday, facing questions on the future of the fishing industry after we leave the EU.

A joint mission: ending plastic pollution

Posted by Louise Edge — 14 September 2016 at 4:27pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Ariana Densham, Greenpeace

Back in July I was lucky enough to be one of 100 people who spent the day cleaning up a heavily plastic polluted beach on ‘Freedom Island’ in Manila Bay, Philippines. The beach was in an appalling state - piled high with throwaway plastic wrappers, straws and bottles which also littered the water. This was just a snapshot of the estimated 8-12 million tonnes of plastic that scientists tell us goes into our oceans every year.<--break-><--break->

UK Government plans to outlaw microbeads! But a limited ban won't do.

Posted by Fiona Nicholls — 7 September 2016 at 9:43am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

This weekend, the Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced a plan to ban microbeads from cosmetic products like face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels. This is brilliant news for the 350,000 people who have signed our petition in collaboration with Fauna & Flora International, the Marine Conservation Society and the Environmental Investigation Agency. It shows the government is taking steps to protect our oceans from this pointless plastic pollution. BUT… (oh why is there always a ‘but’?!)

Microbeads - What does a ban look like?

Posted by alice.hunter — 26 August 2016 at 4:41pm - Comments
A full ban on any plastic in any household product that goes down the drain
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

On Wednesday this week, the Environmental Audit Committee released a report calling for microbeads to be banned. But what does an effective ban look like? The ban in the US, whilst signalling a huge step forward, is riddled with loopholes.

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