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You have the power to influence the future of the Ocean

Imagine a world where beaches are clean, maritime spaces are protected and fishing is responsibly managed. This is possible, but only if you help us support the largest consultation on the Ocean in Europe! There is an urgent need to act against the consequences of the environmental, climate and biodiversity crises in Europe on the Ocean. 

It’s Bluedy Time, Europe’s largest consultation on the Ocean 

A few months ago, we initiated a citizen consultation with other NGOs in order to collect ideas and proposals from experts, scientists as well as activists committed to saving the Ocean.

Read more: Participate in the biggest ocean-related consultation at EU-level

We received nearly 400 contributions which were carefully studied and consolidated in a document containing 10 key proposals organized around themes such as pollution, climate change and marine biodiversity.

Our objective now? To share with you all these proposals and ask you to support them in order to increase their impact before we present them to the future candidates for the European elections in 2024.  


10 propositions to guarantee the future of the Ocean at the European level 

The participants in the consultation were particularly inspired and the proposals to defend the Ocean are numerous.

Mainly focused on key issues such as pollution, climate change or marine biodiversity, the 10 proposals present strong and impactful demands that we hope to see in the heart of the European agenda in the next few months. 

1. Reduce pollution in all its forms 

Up to 12.7 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year worldwide. This pollution not only affects marine ecosystems, but also impacts human health and marine biodiversity.   

In order to protect the ocean from various sources of pollution, we call for: 

– the reduction of plastic production on a global scale, 

– the removal of harmful chemicals,

– the improvement of water treatment,

– the sustainable transformation of maritime transport,

– the taxation of polluters (not consumers!)  

– a shift to local and circular consumption.   

2. Transform our blue economy to protect the Ocean 

The blue economy – encompassing all sectors and industries linked to the oceans, seas and coasts – has a considerable weight on the European Union’s economy. Among these sectors, offshore renewable energies can play a vital role in the ecological transition.

However, the development of the blue economy must take into account the pressures it exerts and limit its impact as much as possible while involving coastal communities as well as the blue community.

With this in mind, we call for a drastic reduction of emissions, pollution and impacts of the blue economy sectors including maritime transport and land-based economic sectors on the Ocean.

3. Mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Ocean and strengthening its resilience and carbon storage capacity    

The ocean plays a crucial role in regulating the global climate by absorbing about 23% of the CO2 produced by human activities.

However, the effects of climate change such as acidification, warming, coastal erosion, storms and extreme weather events, are compromising its ability to regulate the climate.

Urgent action is needed to reduce global and blue economy emissions in order to strengthen the ocean’s ability to cope with climate change.
We also call for the protection of phytoplankton and marine ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses and salt meadows, also known as the ‘blue carbon ecosystem’, to maximize its carbon capture potential. 

4. Preserve coastal areas in the face of climate change 

The EU must adopt specific measures to preserve Europe’s coastal regions, which generate around 40% of Europe’s GDP.

We call for the promotion of nature-based solutions rather than heavy-handed options that have a negative impact on the environment, as well as the rehabilitation of biodiversity in coastal areas to protect their role as a buffer zone against the impacts of climate change. 

5. Effectively protect the marine ecosystem through the creation of protected areas

More than 42% of the world’s cetacean species are found in European waters.

To protect and restore the Ocean’s biodiversity, we must act urgently.

We call for the protection of at least 30% of the ocean, including particularly vulnerable sea areas and areas of high ecological value, and for a ban on harmful and destructive activities near and within designated protected areas. 

6. Battle the main causes of marine biodiversity loss 

To effectively protect and restore the Ocean, we call for the transition of the blue economy sectors to virtuous practices that do not generate pollution or toxicity and to low carbon activities.

We also call for the reduction of noise emissions through the implementation of strict rules to regulate offshore drilling and shipping. 

7. Preserve the Ocean and the health of Europeans  

Steps must be taken to protect the health of all citizens while allowing them to enjoy blue spaces.

We call for:

– the creation of areas dedicated to “blue” activities that are part of the preservation and protection of the waters,

– the promotion of educational initiatives on the sea and the ocean that raise awareness on the role of the ocean on the health of human beings and the planet

-seafood products from sustainable, low-carbon and local fisheries. 

8. Reinforce and monitor marine pollution at its source 

Human activity is putting unprecedented pressure on the ocean. -reminder marine pollution 

Our demands: the harmonization and expansion of European pollution monitoring protocols throughout the continent as well as increased financial support for scientific research on all sources of contaminations and their impacts on health and the environment. 

9. Build a more inclusive and sustainable Ocean governance in Europe  

To ensure a fair and sustainable transformation of the blue economy and to protect the Ocean, its resources and the services it provides, we call for:

– the elimination of subsidies for activities that harm the health of the Ocean, such as offshore oil and gas extraction or seabed mining

– a shift to and investment in more sustainable production and consumption models to drastically reduce human pressures and our greenhouse gas emissions,

– revising the decision-making process to make it more transparent, inclusive and based on the long-term interests of EU citizens, rather than short-term economic interests. 

10. Give a voice to coastal populations in the sustainable management of the Ocean in Europe 

The EU must strengthen its commitment to support coastal populations, which are more exposed to the risks of pollution and climate change in the ocean, particularly in terms of food supply and working conditions.

This could include, first, combating illegal fishing, which accounts for up to 20% of fishing, and taking firm action to stop overfishing.

Second, reducing emissions from maritime transport that affect the health of people living in ports and other places.

Thirdly, the promotion of education of coastal populations on the marine environment, and that of citizens far from the coast. 

Find out more 

You have spoken, we have listened – and now we want to transform the 10 proposals into measures to protect our marine environment. We need you to make an impactful change, so join us in this critical mission. Our ocean, our voice.  

Why you should support the proposals resulting from this citizen consultation

We all have a special bond with the Ocean. It can be a moment of escape from our daily lives, or a unique memory. This link is weakened by a major threat that concerns us all.

Our ocean is in danger: pollution by plastics and chemicals, disappearance of species, damage to the sea and coasts etc. The latest IPCC report on climate change is clear: it is urgent to act and the ocean is also part of the solutions to mitigate this phenomenon. 

Our goal? Bring these proposals to the heart of the European elections of 2024, the most important transnational elections in the world. The coming years will be decisive for the future of our planet.   

The European Parliament is the only directly elected EU institution. Every five years, we choose the 750 MEPs who will represent us. All these laws are sharpening the seas and coasts of the EU. They will guarantee the protection of the ocean until 2029. The laws put in place will influence the future of the ocean and coastal areas in Europe.

To raise ocean protection at the center of the European agenda during the next mandate of the European Union, we must work together. To have an impact and shape the vision of decision makers, we need to unite ocean action and citizen participation. Our ocean makes our life possible on our blue planet. Helping the ocean is helping our future. So support our proposals!

I want to save the ocean

Next steps? From June to 2024, the goal will be to share these results with the current European Parliament and European political parties during Ocean Week 2023. We will start to inform them and encourage them to include our proposals in their 2024 manifestos.  

Read : Blue Manifesto, the roadmap to a healthy ocean in 2030