This September the world’s governments meet at a UN conference in New York to negotiate the protection of the high seas. Creating a network of ocean sanctuaries on the high seas will have global benefits: ensuring healthy, thriving oceans all over our planet. The pictures below give a glimpse of the stunning world beneath waters all over the world. They also illustrate threats like plastic pollution and overfishing the marine life faces.
Seagulls follow the Scottish trawler ‘Endurance’, east of Unst, the most northerly island in the UK.
Underwater image off the Sylter Aussenriff in the North Sea.
A pod of Sperm Whales move into a defense line to stop a pod of Orcas (Killer Whales) getting to their calf, off the coast of Sri Lanka.
A flying fish jumps out of the water. Greenpeace is in the Indian Ocean to peacefully tackle unsustainable fishing.
A silky shark and other marine life school around a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) in the central Pacific Ocean. Greenpeace travels in the Pacific to expose out of control tuna fisheries. Tuna fishing has been linked to shark finning, overfishing and human rights abuses.
A Loggerhead turtle swims around a fish aggregation device belonging to the Ecuadorean purse seiner ‘Ingalapagos’, which was documented by Greenpeace in the vicinity of the northern Galapagos Islands. Around 10% of the catch generated by purse seine FAD fisheries is unwanted bycatch and includes endangered species.
An octopus crawls across a seagrass bed in the Mediterranean Sea at night.
A nudibranch on a hydroid colony, similar in features to Hypselodoris tricolor. The Rainbow Warrior is in the Mediterranean for a three-month ship tour taking action on the threats to the sea and calling for a network of large-scale marine reserves to protect the health and productivity of the Mediterranean Sea.
In the Andaman sea, Satun, Thailand shoals of barracuda and Banana fusilier swim over the reef at Hin Khao, two small pinnacles in the sea of Pakbara. Coral reefs are critical habitats of countless marine life, which in turn nurtures the artisanal fishing community in the region.
A lionfish, an ambush predatory fish, hovers above colonies of sea fan (Melithaea sp.) at an artificial reef site near Pakbara, Satun province, Thailand. A large number of lionfishes as well as groupers and snappers were observed in this area during the recent expedition, suggesting a productive ecosystem, which can support a large number of marine predators.
A Blackside hawkfish (Forster’s Hawkfish) is pictured off the Egyptian coast.
Southern Resident killer whale J35 spyhops in Haro Strait off Lime Kiln Point State Park (Washington) with a container ship in the background. The Salish Sea is one of the richest and most biologically diverse inland seas in the world. Yet all of it is being put at risk by the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline which will lead to a seven fold in the number of tankers carrying tar sands oil through the Salish Sea and massively increasing the risks of an oil spill in this beautiful part of the world.
The largest octopus on the planet, the Giant Pacific Octopus, with its three hearts and blue blood, lives on the bottom of the ocean bed. With tentacles that can span 8 meters across, it can move fast (25 mph!), but most of the time it crawls slowly along the ocean-bed with its long tentacles suckering crabs and scallops to eat.
A Blue Shark (Prionace glauca) swims near the Azores.
Hydrozoan Jellyfish is one of the deep sea creatures that is found in the Arctic.
Gentoo penguins near Discovery Bay in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Greenpeace is conducting scientific research and documenting the Antarctic’s unique wildlife, to strengthen the proposal to create the largest protected area on the planet, an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.