Skip to main content

Blue manifesto : 10 years to save the ocean

In January 2020, Surfrider Europe joined with 101 environmental organizations to launch a new
 European plan for ocean rescue by 2030: the Blue Manifesto. 10 years, that’s the deadline given by the signatories to shift the trend and take concrete actions for a clean, safe and unpolluted ocean.

The ocean, the vital carbon storehouse regulating climate and producing half the oxygen we breathe, is under increasing anthropogenic pressure. Threats are diverse, such as over-fishing, pollution, ocean acidification and global warming. All these elements weigh upon species and marine habitats. The threats related to global warming are not only in the sea but also on land. If nothing changes by 2050, more than 300 million people living on coastlines will be threatened by erosion and rising sea levels.

10-year action plan: Expectations for the European Union 

Actions suggested in this Manifesto are concrete and time-bound to durably and efficiently put to an end ocean and coastal zone pollution before the effects are irreversible. Thereby, measures are expected to be taken by the European Union each year, as evidenced by the timeline enclosed to the manifesto . Each year, the European Union will have to commit to tangible actions starting in 2020, just like the adoption of
a “2030 Biodiversity Strategy” protecting marine species and their habitats. 

All measures carried out during the decade will have to lead to 4 conclusions by 2030:

        1. A strong or complete protection of at least 30% of the ocean by 2030.

It is mandatory to keep the most vulnerable marine and coastal zones virgin and wild. They would be limited from most human activities in order to be used as animal and plant protected areas. This security also benefits coastal communities by ensuring the safety and longevity of their beloved natural homelands. Budgets, observation zones and long-term management must be allocated to these zones to insure their protection. 

        2. A full transition to low impact fishing.

It is agreed to stop over-fishing and at a frequency preventing fish stocks growth and renewal. It is necessary to stop looking at fishes as stocks we can over-exploit, but to consider them as elements of a complex eco-system crucial for ocean resilience. We need to move from a high-fuel intensity fishing with destructive practices such as deep-end trawling, to a low impact fishing. 

        3. A pollution-free ocean

The objective is to enjoy an ocean free from plastic, agricultural and chemical pollution. We must stop destructing marine ecosystems and deteriorating water quality. To do so, pollution should be stopped at the source by rethinking the plastic production lifecycle and emisisons, and adopt a more sustainable model.

        4. An organization of human activities allowing marine eco-systems restoration.

Exploitation activities, such as high-seas mining and oil and gas extractions, are as discordant with our climate as they
are with marine life. To save our ocean and climate they must be fully stopped within the 10 coming years. 

Ocean Week 2020 :  one week to discuss ocean protection

Surfrider Foundation, and collaborating NGOs, are inviting citizens, institutions and
stakeholders to take part in Ocean Week in Brussels, from February 3rd to 9th, and share their experiences and
ideas to save the ocean and our costal zones. The event will give rise to films projections, art exhibitions, conferences and a march for climate. Matthias von Gunten’s film,
 Thule Tuvalu, is scheduled to be projected on February 6th, 2020 during the lecture-debate, Voices for the Ocean, organized by Surfrider Foundation.