The sheer scale of the task of reversing the Ocean’s fortunes demands that all hands are brought on deck and indeed the last years have seen increasingly collegiate ways of working develop in the ocean space. Marinas Guardian works with cross-sectoral partnerships informed by the best available science and built around the clear set of goals and actions to restore ocean health set out in RISE UP - A Blue Call to Action that has widespread support amongst the broader ocean community.
We know what is needed to protect the Ocean:
Now is the time for innovation and action!
In 2020 the Ocean Panel rightly concluded that 100% Sustainable Ocean Management is needed, calling on all coastal states to ensure that all activities occurring in their waters are sustainably managed and noting that ‘effective protection, sustainable production and equitable prosperity go hand in hand’.
While ensuring that fishing and other human activities are sustainable are key to restoring the health of the Ocean, science has shown that this alone will not be enough, we need to establish a global network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering both national EEZs and the international waters of the high seas in order to safeguard marine life. The need to scale up ocean protection was endorsed by the Convention of Biological Diversity in 2022 with the adoption of the '30x30' target i.e. to ensure the effective conservation and management of at least 30% of the global ocean, with emphasis on areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services by 2030.
The need for 100% sustainable ocean management is not only applicable to national waters but needs to be applied to the high seas – the international waters that lie beyond national jurisdiction and cover half the planet and include some of the most biologically important, least protected, and most critically threatened ecosystems in the world. The recently agreed High Seas Treaty fills multiple governance gaps and is a step to making this possible. Marinas Guardian urges countries to ratify the Treaty at the earliest possible opportunity and to work together to develop the first tranche of high seas MPAs under the new framework provided by the Treaty.
Past experience, in both the terrestrial and marine environments, has demonstrated that applying the precautionary principle (whereby caution should be exercised when an activity might cause serious environmental harm even when knowledge is lacking) and the ecosystem approach (whereby the whole ecosystem is taken into account when making decisions) are vital if we are not to inflict serious environmental harm. Therefore, given the potential for deep sea mining to cause serious harm to marine ecosystems and the massive gaps in our understanding of the deep sea., Marinas Guardian supports the call for a moratorium on deep sea mining as supported by many countries and championed by the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.
These global initiatives provide a policy and campaign framework for Marinas Guardian’s advocacy and project work.