Help us to save our oceans!

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Our oceans make life on earth possible. They produce over half the oxygen we breathe and are a source of food, income, and recreation for people across the planet. The oceans also absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, making them a great line of defence against climate breakdown.

But our oceans, and life in them, are more threatened than ever. Overfishing, marine litter, industrial pollution and offshore drilling all contribute to the loss of marine life.

How can I help to protect the ocean?

Today, less than 8 percent of the oceans are legally protected, and only 2 percent are really off-limits for fishing and other human activities. A global target of 10 percent by 2020 has not been reached, also not in Europe.

But this year, governments from all over the world will have another chance to make up for that. They will meet on 11 to 24 October at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference to agree on new ways to protect and restore nature, both on land and in the oceans.

To save our oceans, governments need to agree to, by 2030:

  • Place at least 30 percent of the global oceans under legal protection, with at least 10 percent being strictly protected, meaning that only minimal human activity is allowed;
  • Set up an effective mechanism to ensure these targets are achieved, and protected areas are not just ‘paper parks’;
  • End destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling, and reduce the sources of ocean pollution such as nutrients and plastic waste in the ocean by at least 50 percent.

To achieve such a global ocean protection deal, European Union ministers must take the lead. Here is where you can help to save our oceans.

✉ Email your minister and ask them to push for effective action to protect our oceans!

Grace O'Sullivan (🇮🇪), Rosa D’Amato (🇮🇹), Ska Keller (🇩🇪)
Members of the European Parliament for the Greens/EFA

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Read more in our background articles

  1. Why we need ambitious protection targets to save our oceans
  2. Why we need effective implementation to save our oceans

📷 Photo by Manas S on Unsplash