Go behind the scenes for the summer of ocean protection

This summer, Greenpeace is patrolling the UK’s seas to expose and confront destructive fishing. Get on board for live updates and inside info as the action unfolds.


Despite promising to get ocean protection done, Boris Johnson has failed to defend our vulnerable Marine Protected Areas from destructive industrial fishing. He has failed to level up coastal communities through seizing the opportunity to protect habitats and boost fish populations.

So once again, we’re taking matters into our own hands. Introducing Operation Ocean Witness.

This six month operation, involving a new Greenpeace ship called Sea Beaver, will patrol the UK’s protected areas off the south coast and do what the government has so far failed to do – protect the UK’s marine protected areas from destructive fishing, a key Brexit promise which has been broken. Operation Ocean Witness will operate out of Newhaven from June until Autumn 2021.

Five crew members kneel on the deck of a small ship in front of a large decal showing the Operation Ocean Witness logo.

The crew of the new Greenpeace ship Sea Beaver prepare to kick off Operation Ocean Witness, which will patrol the UK’s protected waters off the south coast. © Fionn Guilfoyle / Greenpeace

Witnessing the worst

This summer we’re going to be patrolling the UK seas to uncover illegal and destructive fishing practices by giant trawlers.

A huge fishing ship pulls in its nets using a rear-mounted winch
Two crew members watching the ocean from the bridge of a ship. One looks through binoculars while the other points to the horizon.
A crew member steps between two inflatable boats, with blue water and sunny skies in the background

By sailing into the eye of the storm, we’re able to witness just how urgently the government needs to level up ocean protection. So we’ve acquired a ship, assembled a crew, and invited some incredible scientists, influencers and celebs onboard to help us in our mission.

Backing the best

But Operation Ocean Witness is about more than investigating what’s wrong. We’ll be working with coastal communities and small-scale fishers who have been left behind, to try and promote their role as responsible guardians of our seas. And we’ll be showcasing the best of our beautiful waters to you, because this ocean belongs to all of us.

Steve Beaney, a small scale fisherman in front of his boat in Hastings. © David Sandison / Greenpeace

Regardless of where you are this summer, you’ll be welcome onboard Operation Ocean Witness, via our action packed digital events, Q&As and giveaways.

Time to get ocean protection done

World Oceans Day gives us a chance to hope and have our voices heard. Thanks to supporters like you, the government is listening and planning to upgrade protection in a few Marine Protected Areas, but we need them to go much further and strengthen protection for the whole network.

You can join the campaign by signing the petition below. Or if you’ve already signed, help spread the word by sharing the campaign video.

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