Citizen Coalition organized by BLOOM

Over 100 NGOs, citizen groups and top figures launch coalition for ocean protection

Citizen Coalition organized by BLOOM

As the French city of Nice begins preparations to host the high-level 2025 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources), over 100 non-governmental organizations, academic units, celebrities, and civil society collectives have joined forces to launch the Citizens’ Coalition for the Protection of the Ocean.

Their goal is to put pressure on the French government so that it takes the lead in fostering marine protection in the European Union, particularly after President Emmanuel Macron declared 2024 the “Year of the Sea” and as France is in the process of designing a national strategy in terms of maritime policy [1].

Led by BLOOM Association, whose founder Claire Nouvian is a member of the Sea Around Us Advisory Board, the coalition is also comprised of Foodwatch, Greenpeace, the French Committee of IUCN, Blue Ventures, GoodPlanet, Friends of the Earth, the Jane Goodall Institute, among others, as well as top figures such as comic book authors Jul and Pénélope Bagieu, actresses Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Lucie Lucas, activists Camille Etienne and Gaëtan Gabriele, musicians Arthur H and Woodkid, athletes Guillaume Néry and François Gabart, and many more. They are all joining forces to demand a halt to the destruction of the global ocean.

“The European Copernicus observatory registered historic temperature records for the ocean every month of this year and NASA has just warned that the sea level rose by 0.76 cm between 2022 and 2023,” the Coalition’s launch announcement reads. “NGOs, foundations, companies and public figures are calling on citizens to join them so that their voices can be heard by the President of the Republic as the signs of climatic and biological cataclysm accumulate: the ocean has never been so hot, polluted and devastated by industrial fishing, the ocean currents – which dictate climate regulation – are undergoing profound and irreversible changes, marine heatwaves are exploding, whales are dying of starvation…[2]

And while we need healthy ecosystems more than ever to help most effectively mitigate climate change, policymakers continue to support ocean destruction through substantial public funding [3] to underwater bulldozers that catch fish by pulverizing everything else around: trawlers.
The citizen coalition reminds us that restoring the ocean’s health is imperative and that protecting it is simple: you just have to stop destroying it.

The collective asks the President of the Republic to immediately implement three urgent measures of general interest so that France can hold its head high when welcoming the 3rd UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

The measures are:

• Ban destructive fishing methods such as trawling in so-called “protected” marine areas – which are not protected at all. This requires an injunction from the European Commission and European law.
• Use public money to enable the social, ecological and inclusive transition of the fishing sector towards fishing methods that stop brutalizing the ocean and deforesting it. A recent report from a research group on fisheries transitions [4] established that trawl fisheries were two to three times less job-generating and three to four times less profitable than small coastal fisheries using selective gear (lines, traps, nets).
• Protect ecosystems and coastal fishermen by excluding industrial vessels longer than 25 meters and up to 145 meters from the French coastline – a strip of 12 nautical miles, or approximately 22 kilometers.

As head of state of Europe’s leading maritime power, our coalition invites the President of the Republic to be exemplary in protecting the ocean,” the announcement concludes.

[1] In particular through the consultation “The sea in debate” organized by the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP).

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