Greenpeace taps Simon Pegg to highlight ‘shocking’ threat to oceans

Greenpeace has enlisted the help of celebrities including Simon Pegg to highlight the ‘shocking’ extent of the threat to ocean health as it urges UK to sign the Global Ocean Treaty next week.

The latest report from the environmental charity revealed that the number of hours industrial vessels have spent fishing in international waters has increased by 8.5% since 2018, to over 8.5 million hours.

Drifting longlines – a particularly destructive method of fishing – were found to make up over three-quarters of all recorded fishing activity, while the rise in fishing activity was even higher (22.5%) in some areas of the ocean that scientists have identified as being most in need of protection.

Setting out a political roadmap to protect 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 – the UN’s 30×30 target – the Greenpeace report comes a week before before the UK and other governments are set to sign the historic Global Ocean Treaty at the United Nations in New York, on 20 September.

The global study also details how ocean warming, acidification, pollution and the emerging threat of deep sea mining are putting ocean ecosystems under strain, allowing Greenpeace to make clear the urgency of political action to deliver 30×30 using the Ocean Treaty.

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To help promote the report at this critical juncture for ocean protection, Greenpeace has partnered with actors Simon Pegg, Jane Fonda and US singer Camila Cabello, to produce an animated short film.

The short, which premiered last night, follows the journey of three sea creatures as they escape the threats detailed in the report, before finding refuge in a protected ocean sanctuary – which can be established under the treaty.

Currently, less than 1% of the high seas are protected in this way. To reach the 30×30 target, Greenpeace estimates around 11 million sq km of ocean must be protected every year – more than the surface of the UK and Canada combined.

“The Ocean Treaty was a historic win for nature but as our report shows, the threats to marine life worsen every day,” said Fiona Nicholls of Greenpeace’s Protect the Oceans campaign.

“Destructive industrial practices at sea threaten the future of ocean health and by extension, the future health of our whole planet. To give marine life a chance, at least 30% of the oceans must be protected in a network of ocean sanctuaries by 2030 – we have just seven years left.

“The treaty gives us a powerful tool to protect the oceans, but now foreign secretary James Cleverly must set an example to other governments by urgently signing and ratifying it. For all of our sakes, leaders must use the treaty to urgently create new ocean sanctuaries on the high seas that give our oceans and all the life within them a fighting chance.”

Pegg comented: “The oceans are important to everybody. They’re such a vast and integral part of the planet’s survival mechanism. It would be an act of utmost stupidity to let them go to ruin, and yet a lot of the time we seem to be allowing practices which do absolutely that.

“So it’s really important to get behind causes which look to conserve and protect our ocean and all the life that lives in it.”

Climate crisisFood and farmingNature and the environmentNews

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