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Protect the ocean by supporting a strong High Seas Treaty!

59,612 signed. Let’s get to 75K.
with RISE UP

Today, nearly half the planet is unprotected and vulnerable to exploitation.  

This ocean area that lies outside of any country’s jurisdiction is known as the High Seas and covers over 60 percent of the ocean. This global commons is critical to the health of the entire ocean.

It is one of the largest reservoirs of biodiversity on the planet and is a crucial component in several of the Earth’s systems and cycles, providing a multitude of ecosystem services. Many species, such as whales, tunas, sharks, and turtles spend much of their lives traveling along the highways of the High Seas to feeding, spawning, and breeding grounds. 

The bottlenose dolphin is a common sight in coastal waters around the world, but it also maintains large populations offshore · Jorge Cervera Hauser
From the biggest and smallest marine species to humans all over the globe, all life depends on healthy High Seas now and into the future · Jorge Cervera Hauser
Current levels of protection in the High Seas are nowhere near enough to conserve wildlife · Paul Nicklen
Blue sharks make trips of over 5,700 miles across the High Seas each year · Paul Nicklen

But despite its size and importance, only 1.2% of the High Seas have been protected, because it lacks clear rules to establish protected areas leaving its marine life vulnerable to exploitation.

Human-related threats include unsustainable and illegal fishing, shipping traffic, noise pollution, seabed mining, plastic and chemical pollution, and acidifying and warming waters as a result of the climate crisis.

Rare sea lions are among the tens of species at risk of being injured or killed by these huge driftnets · Howard Hall
Shawn Heinrichs
Howard Hall

Following nearly 20 years of discussions at the United Nations, governments are in the final stages of negotiating a new United Nations Treaty that would ensure the meaningful protection of ocean life found in this great global commons. This will be a key step towards moving the planet closer to the goal of protecting at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030, the minimum level of protection scientists recommend for a healthy ocean.

As these negotiations continue in the United Nations over the coming months, it is critical that supporters RISE UP and call on world leaders to urgently support the adoption of an ambitious High Seas Treaty for the sake of the ocean, the planet, and all of us.

Add your name to urge your government and other world leaders to take action and secure a strong High Seas Treaty and help build momentum by sharing the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Latest update: The UN convened its fourth and supposedly final round of negotiations for a new High Seas Treaty at the UN Headquarters in New York between 7th and 18th March. Some small progress was made across all parts of the package, with “joint proposals” discussed across the 2 weeks. The President of the IGC will now produce a new draft of the Treaty for Governments to consider further, along with a recommendation for the IGC to meet again in August to conclude its work, although this will require additional agreement of the U.N. General Assembly.

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