Defending our oceans

Standard Page - 10 May, 2011
Fundamental changes need to be made in the way our oceans are managed. We must shift from destructive to sustainable fisheries.

Defending our Oceans

A sustainable fishery is one that doesn’t reduce fish stocks or impact marine biodiversity. Examples of sustainable fishing techniques include pole and line fishing, drop lines and troll lines.
We also need to provide a safe haven for marine life and close some areas of ocean to all human activity. Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves that cover 40% of our oceans. Marine reserves are essential to restoring and preserving the health of our oceans.

o2004082 - 20th April 2008 - INTERNATIONAL WATERS, PACIFIC OCEANGreenpeace activists take action against US tuna purse seiner Cape Finisterre, holding a banner reading "Marine Reserves Now" before painting the side of the vessel with the words "TUNA OVERKILL" 20 April 2008. Scientists are warning overfishing is occuring with Pacific bigeye and yelowfin tuna. Greenpeace want the areas of international waters between Pacific Island countries to become protected marine reserves. ©Greenpeace/Paul HiltonGREENPEACE HANDOUT Ð NO RESALE Ð EDITORIAL USE ONLY Ð NO ARCHIVE Ð OK FOR ONLINE REPROExposing destruction

We take to the high seas to defend the oceans from unsustainable and pirate fishing. We track and expose destructive fishing practices that kill tonnes of marine life. Greenpeace's ships are used at the forefront of our oceans campaign, bearing witness, documenting and taking action against illegal and destructive fishing. The Esperanza toured in 2011 to defend Pacific livelihoods and safeguard its precious marine resources.

GPS data is caught on camera as the Japanese long-liner Koyu Maru 3, pulls in a long-line in Cook Island waters, 07th October 2009.  Greenpeace has called for the arrest of the captain of Japanese long-liner, Koyu Maru,  which was caught fishing illegally in the Cook Islands. GREENPEACE/Paul HiltonSuccess

Evidence we collected in 2009 while documenting illegal fishing activity in the Pacific, was used to fine 2 unlicensed Japanese vessels NZ$1million.


Tuna is stacked and frozen onbaord the Taiwanese long-liner ,Kai Jie 1, in the Pacific ocean, 15th October 2009. Greenpeace is calling for the closure of pockets of international waters in the Pacific to all types of fishing in order to rescue tuna from depletion of stocks. Greenpeace/HILTONPressuring decision makers

We participate in key regional and international forums where the fate of the world's oceans is on the table. We work to ensure leaders ban destructive, illegal and unsustainable fishing practices. And we lobby for a global network of marine reserves to be established.

Fishermen use pole and line fishing method to catch skipjack tuna. Pole and line fishing is a selective and therefore more sustainable way to catch tuna as only fish of a certain size are caught, leaving juveniles to grow to spawning age and replenish the stock in the future. Small bait fish are thrown over the side of the boat to lure the tuna to the water surface. The fishermen use the acceleration of the fish as they race to get their prey, hook them and fling them onto the ship's flat deck. Success

In January 2011, 8 Pacific Island nations closed a whopping 4.5 million km2 of Pacific Ocean to destructive purse seine fishing. This followed years of Greenpeace campaigning in the region.


09 07 2010. Bondi Beach. Cast members of 'Bondi Rescue' support the Greenpeace Canned Tuna Ranking Guide. The guide ranks canned tuna by sustainably fished produce and has now been re-ranked due to consumer pressure on tuna companies. Greenpeace demands that practices such as the use of Fish Aggregation Devices (FADS) and indiscriminate by-catch be stopped. ©Greenpeace/Amendolia NO ARCHIVE. NO RESALE. CREDIT COMPULSORY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.Empowering consumers

We expose the retailers and brands that sell unsustainable or illegal products, and work with them to acquire better policies. Greenpeace empowers consumers to make informed, ethical and sustainable choices when buying seafood.


'Fish 4 Ever' cans, a brand of canned skipjack tuna made with tuna caught with pole and line fishing practice, an old traditional technique which is selective and therefore a more sustainable way to catch tuna as only fish of a certain size are caught, leaving juveniles to grow to spawning age and replenish the stock in the future.Success

After releasing our first Canned Tuna Guide in March 2010, tuna brands were forced to examine their role in the overfishing crisis, with some making significant improvements. We now have our first sustainable canned tuna brand, Fish4Ever, in Australia.