human activity and the destruction of the planet

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Ocean sanctuaries in the Antarctic

News out today from Greenpeace states that the majority of the krill fishing industry has agreed to voluntarily stop fishing in sensitive Antarctic waters and back the campaign for ocean sanctuaries in the Antarctic.

This is not just a welcome relief for penguins and other Antarctic wildlife that feed on krill. It also means that, when the Antarctic Ocean Commission meet in October to decide on a massive Sanctuary, the influential krill industry won’t be standing in the way.

The industry body represents nearly every krill company working in the Antarctic – including Aker Biomarine – the main supplier of krill oil to the UK.

Greenpeace started campaigning on the krill industry in April and a number of actions  helped to drive progress towards this unprecedented commitment. The campaign included:

  • over 45,000 emails sent to Holland & Barrett calling on them to ditch krill oil products fished from areas that needed protection.
  • over 11,000 tweets and Facebook messages sent to Boots, calling on them to stop sourcing krill oil products from sensitive Antarctic waters.
  • Stickered krill products with a Greenpeace message on Holland & Barrett and Boots shelves nationwide, raising the profile of the issue with UK customers.
  • Visited over 30 Boots shops across the UK, with ‘krill-o-meters’ that asked people to choose between an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary and industrial krill fishing.

Other stores that stock dodgy krill oil products were also contacted. Amazingly, Superdrug, Morrisons, Nature’s Best, and many more listened to the demands.

This is a major step forward on the road to protecting the Antarctic. With many krill fishing companies now joining the 1.7 million people across the globe already calling for an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary, we are looking ahead with hope to the Antarctic Ocean Commission’s meeting in October.

6th November 2018

An update from Greenpeace today shared the fact that the initiative for an ocean sanctuary in the Antarctic was not successful. The full text from their email follows:

Over the last two weeks, a group of governments tried to negotiate a new Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.

I’m sorry to say they failed, leaving the incredible wildlife of the Antarctic exposed to growing pressures from industrial overfishing, pollution and climate change.

Although 22 governments supported an ambitious sanctuary, Norwegian, Chinese and Russian negotiators were able to stop it from going ahead. [1]

But this isn’t over. Together, we’re going to come back stronger than ever to protect the Antarctic – and ocean life everywhere. Are you in? Add a comment on this Facebook post to let us know.

Not on Facebook? No problem – just hit reply to share your comment by email.

People are sharing their personal reaction to the decision too. There’s lots of frustration and disappointment of course, but there’s also determination – to keep standing up for our oceans until we win. Check out the comments and add your own here.

It’s too soon to know exactly what the next steps look like, but here’s the big picture:

First, we’ll keep working to win this Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. But that alone isn’t enough.

To truly start healing our blue planet, we need to think bigger. That means changing how the system works – so it’s easier to protect large areas of our global oceans. 

Soon we’ll have a chance to do exactly that. There’s a new global ocean treaty on the table at the UN. If it’s approved it’ll open the door to create huge new protected areas covering at least a THIRD of the world’s oceans. If you’re ready to help make it happen, let us know.

Not on Facebook? No problem – just hit reply to share your comment by email.

Today is a sad day for everyone who cares about our blue planet. But this isn’t the end – it’s just the beginning. Together with 2.7 million others, you’re part of an amazing global movement to protect the oceans – and I can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together.

Thanks for all you’ve done so far – and all the great things to come.


1. Governments have failed to protect the Antarctic – but this isn’t over – Greenpeace UK