Why we need a Global Ocean Treaty

Greenpeace is calling for an ambitious Global Ocean Treaty to give our oceans the protection they urgently need


The Treaty must create a global system, a “one-stop shop”, for creating and effectively implementing ocean sanctuaries on the high seas.

Nearly half of the planet’s surface – more than 64% of the world’s oceans – is a vast blue wilderness, set apart from the boundaries of flags, languages and national divisions.

These are our global oceans. Also known as the high seas, these open oceans and deep seabed areas cover 230 million square kilometres – bigger than every single continent combined – and they belong to us all.

The global oceans are rich and diverse natural environments. They provide critical support for our whole planet and play an important role in slowing climate change. They encompass remarkable habitats like deep-sea coral fields and seamounts. The global oceans are home

to an extraordinary variety of life, including whales, tuna, sharks, turtles and rays.

In fact, they teem with life that scientists have only just started to discover. They are some of the least explored and least protected areas on Earth. Only 1% of our global oceans are currently protected.

What's next?