Greenpeace's report on their latest Antarctic journey.
Greenpeace last visited the Arctic in 202 where they witnessed the second-lowest ever level of sea ice on record second-lowest. This year in the Antarctic, the news was even worse — the level of ice around the continent dropped below two million KM2 for the first time . Greenpeace is aware some parts of the Antarctic are warming faster than anywhere else on the planet and as a result the frozen ocean is literally melting in front of humanity. As well as causing the sea levels to rise this disturbs marine food webs and means more dark water is exposed to the sun, leading the planet to heat up even faster. Long story short, the climate crisis is also a crisis for our oceans.
Gentoo penguins are breeding on the eastern side of the Antarctic and until recently it would have been far too icy for this species to thrive. This is proof that wildlife is moving to new areas as temperatures rise. Meaning we need to create ocean sanctuaries more urgent than ever.
As Greenpeace sailed back from Antarctic- and as the worlds governments met yet again to discuss the long promised Global Ocean Treaty — they witnessed first hand the risk we face if no treat is agreed. On the South Atlantic off Argentina, they encountered a fleet of over 400 huge fishing vessels plundering the open ocean. It was the polar opposite of sustainable fishing, and Greenpeace quickly alerted the world media to what was witnessed.
Although governments have been meeting at the UN and have been talking, talking and talking — but out in the oceans its only action. Grim, ruthless action that is plundering the ocean for profit, pushing wildlife population towards collapse and threatening the health of the biggest ecosystem on Earth.
Once again the government failed to make good on their promises to finally deliver a Global Ocean Treaty, instead announcing yet another round of negotiations in the summer.
There was a pledge from the UK government back in 2019 to galvanise the globe to safeguard at least a third of the world’s ocean by 2030. With the creation of network of ocean sanctuaries. Well it has not delivered and all the while climate breakdown is transforming our oceans, industrial fishing is emptying the sea of life and coastal communities are seeing their livelihoods and food security threatened.
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