It’s been a huge week for our oceans, and I have some great news to share with you.
On Friday, the world’s largest marine protected area was created in the Ross Sea, off the coast of Antarctica! It’s a huge win for this pristine part of the world and the incredible marine life like emperor penguins, orcas and minke whales that call it home.
It took years of hard work to get here and was only made possible thanks to millions of people, and the Antarctic Ocean Alliance which Greenpeace is a part of, speaking out. We can achieve so much when we persevere together.
Watch and share our new video on Facebook, or forward this email to celebrate the news:
The great news doesn’t end there. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) – the global body that decides how the world should manage whales – made huge waves for the tiny vaquita porpoise. With just 60 left in the wild, the vaquita is on the brink of extinction and desperately needs action to save it. This week, all the countries present at the IWC voted for concerted international cooperation to do just that. They will work together for a permanent ban on gillnets, the number one killer of these beautiful porpoises.
This is a huge moment: it’s not often the global community commits to working together to save a species.
But it wasn’t all good news from the IWC. Sadly, world leaders failed to agree on a new whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic. More than 1 million people – including you – from countries around the world added their voice to the call for a new sanctuary. And despite getting a majority of votes in favour (38 for, 24 against), it fell short of the three-quarter majority it needed to pass.
It’s a huge disappointment, but we can’t give up the fight for whale conservation. Together, we need to take all of the public and political support we know is out there for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, and make sure we win for the whales when the IWC meets next year. We’ve just achieved what seemed impossible with the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea, and we know we can win again for whales.
With so much pressure on our oceans – from overfishing to plastic pollution to climate change – it’s up to us to be the voice for our marine life.
Together, we’ve made some incredible progress this year. So take a moment to be proud of what we’ve achieved, and share the good news.
Keep up the great work,
Jacki, Jess, Alix and Sam
Greenpeace Australia Pacific