The oceans cover some 71 per cent of the planet’s surface and are essential to life on Earth.

Oceans feed us, give us half the oxygen we breathe, provide vital components in medical treatments and impact on the planet’s weather systems. Oceans may be home to as many as a million different species of animal and plant life, yet only about a quarter of them have been formally described.

EIA’s Oceans Campaign seeks to protect the marine environment from the escalating number of man-made threats, from the hunting of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and climate change impacts to bycatch, overfishing, pollution, shipping and marine plastic pollution.

The organisation was actually founded in 1984 following an exposé of pilot whale hunting in the Faroe Islands and has continued to campaign against both hunting of the great whales and the large-scale slaughter of small cetaceans.

EIA continues to pressure Japan, Iceland and Norway to stop whaling and is working to reduce demand and availability of cetacean products. We are also working with the International Whaling Commission to tackle the major 21st century problems facing cetaceans through degradation of the marine environment, particularly marine plastic litter, bycatch and ship strikes.

Now recognised internationally as a major threat to marine biodiversity, marine plastic pollution is impacting habitats, species and ecosystems across the globe. EIA is working at UK, EU and international levels to strengthen policy to include ambitious marine plastic pollution reduction measures, as well as increasing public awareness and changing consumer behaviour.

Most recently, EIA’s Oceans Campaign has also focused on the plight of the vaquita, approximately 60 of which remain as a result of these tiny porpoises being caught in nets used for the illegal poaching and trade in totoaba fish.