Eastbourne Greenpeace volunteers and local residents wearing blue clothes and face paint took part in a human wave on the beach on Saturday.
Alongside people from all over the UK, they are calling on the government to put its full weight behind a strong Global Ocean Treaty, to create a network of ocean sanctuaries protecting marine wildlife from destructive industries.
Participants also painted their faces blue and wrote personal messages of support for the Global Treaty to the UK government.
Campaigner Evie Sier from Longland Road said, “It’s fantastic that a sea of people got together to show their support for a strong Global Ocean Treaty. We depend on our oceans for food, and to protect us from climate change. They are also a vital habitat for the sea creatures we know and love such as whales and turtles.”
Fellow campaigner Ollie Heathcock from New Road said, “We’re used to seeing some pretty big waves here in Eastbourne but I’ve never seen one this big and blue before. It’s fantastic we got together today to show our support for a strong Global Ocean Treaty. As a coastal town, we know how important our oceans are for food, and to protect us from climate change. Our government must now surf this wave of support and push for a strong treaty at the upcoming UN negotiations. It’s vital we protect at least 30 per cent of our oceans by 2030.”
Stephen Lloyd MP who joined the campaigners on the day said, “It was good to support Eastbourne Greenpeace on the brilliant work they’ve been doing for years and also for last weekend’s World Ocean Day. It’s all about Greenpeace groups around the country and the world highlighting just how important the health of our oceans are to the well being of the whole planet. An incredibly important issue, which I am supporting wholeheartedly, both in Eastbourne, and in Westminster.”
Greenpeace says healthy oceans are one of the best allies against a changing climate as marine life capture and store large amounts of carbon, but they are under threat from overfishing, deep sea mining and plastic pollution. Currently less than five per cent of the world’s oceans are protected.
Greenpeace is asking the UK Government to drive ambition at the next wave of negotiations in August and make a strong Global Ocean Treaty a reality. The final decision on the treaty is expected at the United Nations in spring next year.
Eastbourne Greenpeace meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm at the Crown and Anchor, in Marine Parade.