Blog: Oceans

A rubbish truck of plastic in the ocean every minute  -  and how you can help

Posted by Fiona Nicholls — 17 November 2016 at 11:09am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace/Will Rose

With the ebb and flow of the tides, thousands of miles of coastline around the UK testify to the devastation that plastic pollution is having on the marine environment. The oceans are at their choking point, for every mile of beach surveyed there are 159 plastic bottles found washed up.

A deposit return scheme for Scotland?

Posted by alice.hunter — 11 November 2016 at 5:55pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: mark ferguson / Alamy Stock Photo
Plastic pollution on a beach in Orkney

A truckload of plastic waste enters our oceans every minute.

When I first heard this statistic I couldn’t believe it. But the evidence is all around us - from tiny microbeads in our toothpaste to images of seabirds with stomachs full of plastic. Plastic pollution is out of control.

What happened at the International Whaling Commission 2016 meeting

Posted by Willie — 28 October 2016 at 3:48pm - Comments
Image of a whale's fluke (tail)
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

The International Whaling Commission meeting 2016 has just come to a close. Delegates from 64 countries spent a week discussing and debating whales, in Potoroz, Slovenia.
Greenpeace’s international team was there, and here’s a quick roundup of what happened.

VICTORY! Massive new Ocean Sanctuary established off Antarctica!

Posted by Willie — 27 October 2016 at 9:03pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

Today, the largest marine protected area in the world was created in the Ross Sea, off the coast of Antarctica. This is a HUGE victory for the whales, penguins, and toothfish that live there and for the millions of people standing up to protect our oceans.

Vaquita porpoise takes centre stage at Whaling Commission meeting.

Posted by Willie — 27 October 2016 at 3:25pm - Comments
Image of vaquita porpoise
All rights reserved. Credit: Tom Jefferson

Big news for a little porpoise.

Something big just happened for the tiny vaquita porpoise at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting. The diminutive porpoise was the subject of a resolution, passed by all the countries present, urging concerted international cooperation to save the species from extinction.

Whale Fail – no new sanctuary in the South Atlantic (again).

Posted by Willie — 25 October 2016 at 9:51am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Twitter

Bad news from the 2016 International Whaling Commission meeting – as the first significant vote was another disappointment for whales and supporters of conservation. Despite getting a majority of votes in favour, the proposal to create a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary did not pass, because it was short of the three-quarters majority needed.

10 good reasons to protect whales

Posted by Willie — 21 October 2016 at 12:42pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Kate Davison

Killing whales for food has been happening for millennia. But it was commercial whaling – turning whales into barrels of oil for profit – that led to the wholesale destruction of most of the world’s populations of big whales.

Why is everyone talking about whale poo?

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 3:55pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton

Whales are special. No, not for any stereotypical hippy la-la reasons, this is *science*!

Healthy oceans need lots of healthy whale populations: they keep things in balance, help disperse and mix nutrients, support entire ecosystems and help fight climate change.

Surprised? Read on…

Why the South Atlantic should be a sanctuary for whales.

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 3:34pm - 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 2:58pm - 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).

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