A message for World Oceans Day

There can be no environmental justice without social justice. 

A very short sentence, with millions of lives and stories behind it. The story of Fatou Samba and hundreds of courageous women fish processors, fighting against the plundering of the oceans by international industrial vessels sent to suck up the fish populations they rely on to survive. 

Greenpeace campaigns for environmental justice convinced that if we win, we will improve the lives of millions on this planet, often the poorest and most marginalized. Ensuring emissions go down will prevent millions of deaths; ensuring our oceans are not the new wild west for greedy multinationals will secure the livelihoods and food security of millions of people. 

But we still have a lot to learn, because our mission will not succeed if we don’t tackle the root causes of all these forms of violence raging against many human beings and nature.

Today is World Oceans day. One more day in the calendar to think together how our fight for nature and every living being in it matters, and how our success depends more than ever on us supporting the struggles of those on the frontlines. 

Today, for example, women fish processors in Senegal are protesting in fishing ports like Cayar, Joal, Rufisque, Saint-Louis and Kafountine wearing red masks as a symbol of their protest against the plunder of ocean resources and threat to their food security.

It is a fight for social, economic and environmental justice against the international industrial vessels being granted new licenses to suck up the fish they rely on to survive. And the fight continues against transhipment, a process that allows vessels to stay out at sea emptying the ocean for months or even years at a time and is linked to some of the most severe human rights abuses, including forced labour, bonded labour and even murder of migrant workers. 

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