Oceans under Threat
The threats to our oceans are huge and getting worse and our members see this in all latitudes of the world.
The marine habitat is degrading through pollution from chemicals, plastics and the extensive use of agricultural and horticultural nutrients. In turn, this is leading to species extinction and biodiversity loss. This is compounded by illegal fishing, overfishing, and careless and unnecessary bycatch.
Moreover, every year ghost nets (commercial fishing nets that have been lost, abandoned, or discarded at sea) are responsible for trapping and killing millions of marine animals including sharks, rays, bony fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, crustaceans, and birds.
Some of the most evident degradation of the marine environment is witnessed in the damage and destruction of coral reefs. As cruisers, we all know that healthy coral reefs are teeming with life and many thousands of species depend on coral reefs for their continued existence.
These vital habitats are threatened by a range of human activities and especially pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, disease, global climate change, ship groundings and careless anchoring. Coral ecosystems face serious threats, mainly from the effects of global climate change, unsustainable fishing, land-based pollution, and ocean acidification.
The massive global industrialisation over the last 200 years has brought considerable economic and social benefits for many people all over the world, but at the same time the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased due to the burning of fossil fuels and land use change. About 30 percent of the CO2 that is released in the atmosphere is absorbed by the oceans, and as levels of atmospheric CO2 increase, so do the levels in the ocean.
CO2 causes seawater to become more acidic and reduces carbonate ions which are essential for the growth of sea shells and coral skeletons, threatening such as oysters, clams, sea urchins, shallow water corals, deep sea corals, and calcareous plankton. In addition, acidification decreases the ability of some fish, such as clown fish, to detect predators and can add a further threat to marine ecosystems.
One of the biggest threats to ocean cruisers comes from weather pattern disruption, caused by climate change. As the temperature increases, more and more sea ice is lost, with a rapid thinning of ice now taking place in the Arctic - the region is warming at three times the global rate and its ice is essential for keeping the planet cool. This is now affecting the large system of ocean currents in the Atlantic – which includes the Gulf Stream, otherwise known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, which transports warm, salty water from the tropics northward at the ocean surface and cold water southward at the ocean bottom. If that system collapses, it would lead to dramatic changes in worldwide weather patterns.
Furthermore, sea ice loss leads to rising sea levels which pose a very serious threat to coastal communities and the people of low-lying islands and countries.
"Indisputable" new research proves effects of climate change are underway
It has been a rough few weeks for climate change deniers. Multiple studies have confirmed that our climate is rapidly changing, and not for the better.
by Daria Blackwell - 16/03/2023
Reflections on COP27
Novara One Planet Project member Dr Nigel Jollands reflects on the outcomes of COP27 in the lead-up to COP28. He asks, is it really "Too little, too late"?
by Dr Nigel Jollands - 08/03/2023
United Nations reach accord to protect marine life on high seas
After almost 20 years of talks, United Nations member states agreed on a legal framework for parts of the ocean outside national boundaries in the historic High Seas Treaty.
by Daria Blackwell - 05/03/2023
Warmest Years and Warmest Ocean on Record
2022 had much stand out news for many of the wrong reasons, two of them being climate oriented: the oceans were the warmest in recorded history and the last 8 years were the hottest on record.
by Daria Blackwell - 15/01/2023
State of the Oceans Report
The report explores the state of our world's oceans, from pollution and habitat degradation to the impacts of climate change, Sustainable Development Goals, and protection of marine environments.
by Daria Blackwell - 22/12/2022
A historic moment for biodiversity
Nations forge historic deal at the COP15 summit to save species. Many countries celebrated, while some say their voices were not heard.
by Daria Blackwell - 21/12/2022
Tuna and billfish are making a comeback
After almost three decades of decline, tuna and billfish have begun to recover because of proactive fisheries management. Sharks, however, continue to decline.
by Daria Blackwell - 12/11/2022
Jon Amtrup, Norwegian sailor, named winner of the Brian Black Memorial Award
The Brian Black Memorial Award 2022 winner shares his sobering story, ‘The icy sound of climate change’, and wins £4,000 in prize money and charity donations.
by Daria Blackwell - 21/10/2022
WaterBear - a free new streaming service
WaterBear, the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Watch award-winning films and documentaries anytime, anywhere.
by Daria Blackwell - 21/09/2022
Europe moves to protect Atlantic deep-sea sites from bottom fishing
On Sept. 15, the European Commission made a historic announcement: it will prohibit bottom fishing across 16,000 square kilometres or 6,200 square miles in territorial waters of the NE Atlantic.
by Daria Blackwell - 21/09/2022
UN Secretary General Declares 'Ocean Emergency'
Ahead of the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, António Guterres said the world must turn the tide of rising sea levels, ocean heating, acidification and plastics pollution.
by Daria Blackwell - 05/07/2022
Global Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge Names 9 Finalists
Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC), led by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), acts as an incubator by providing mentoring, leadership training and funding for some.
by Daria Blackwell - 13/06/2022
Niue, a small Pacific island protects 100% of its territorial waters
Niue covers only 261 square kilometres but possesses 317,000 square kilometres of territorial water. It has become a world leader in marine conservation.
by Daria Blackwell - 10/06/2022
Happy World Ocean Day!
Every day is World Ocean Day for members of the Ocean Cruising Club. Join us! #OCCAdventureSailing
by Daria Blackwell - 08/06/2022
No Plastic Waste Voyage Update 09 May 2022
In 2019, then 81-year-old Jon Sanders undertook an 11th circumnavigation, a voyage which he combined with a scientific endeavour -- to sample water from the oceans for microplastics analysis.
by Stephen Davis (for Jon Sanders and the team) - 27/05/2022
One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together
Celebrate World Ocean Day on the 8th of June (and every other day) by doing your little bit for the oceans we adore throughout the month of June.
by Daria Blackwell - 26/05/2022
Protecting Blue Corridors
The WWF is calling on the world’s governments to extend legal protections for marine wildlife such that they overlap the “blue corridors” or "whale superhighways".
by Daria Blackwell - 21/02/2022
Aquaculture - a sustainable food source
As cruisers, we are more attuned to food sources than most. We fish responsibly taking only what we need for our own sustenance at sea. But wild fish stocks are under pressure. Can aquaculture help?
by Alex Blackwell, MSc and Daria Blackwell - 27/01/2022
The world's ocean just broke another heat record
An analysis of recent Ocean Heat Content (OHC) changes through 2021 by two international groups shows the ocean was the hottest ever recorded by humans.
by Daria Blackwell - 15/01/2022
Saving our oceans from toxic chemicals and microplastics
Edinburgh-based marine biologist, Dr Howard Dryden, started the Global Oceanic Environmental Survey (GOESFoundation.com) to tackle the root causes of climate change - loss of plankton in our oceans.
by Daria Blackwell - 14/11/2021
First ever Earthshot winners announced
The new Earthshot environmental prize initiated by Prince William has been awarded to 5 innovators including Coral Vita, who grow coral on land to return to the sea.
by Daria Blackwell - 18/10/2021
The Ocean Cleanup Gets Underway 20th of October
The day has come to celebrate the beginning of the end of the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
by Daria Blackwell - 18/10/2021
Biodiversity under threat alongside climate change
Biodiversity faces growing pressures from global changes, including climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, ecosystem collapse and pollution. COP15 and COP26 are tackling both.
by Phil Heaton & Daria Blackwell - 11/10/2021
OCC members can help monitor status of world coral reefs
The Sixth Status of Corals of the World 2020 report is the first since 2008, and the first based on the quantitative analysis of a global dataset contributed by more than 300 members of the network.
by Daria Blackwell - 08/10/2021
All drains lead to the sea - Clean Sailors on greywater
When we wash dishes, take a shower, brush our teeth and clean our boats, guess where our wastewater ends up? Yup, the sea. So, let’s talk about ‘greywater’.
by Holly Manvell and Crew of Clean Sailors - 20/09/2021
World’s 1st Satellite-Based Coral Reef Map & Monitoring System Deployed Globally
Researchers have completed a comprehensive online atlas of the world’s coral reefs by using more than two million satellite images from across the earth.
by Daria Blackwell - 12/09/2021
What we mean when we say: 'Microplastics'
We've all heard of them, but what do they mean for us and the waters we sail? Sailors, forget the saying "out of sight, out of mind"; just because we cannot see them, doesn’t mean they aren't there.
by Clean Sailors Crew - 26/02/2021