top of page


Could Ocean Sanctuaries Be The Answer To Overfishing?

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Grace Williams investigates how a new UN treaty on ocean conservation could help protect the planet

Photo by Jean Wimmerlin

Legislation to declare certain parts of our waters as ocean sanctuaries could protect fish populations from being over-exploited, which would disrupt the food chain and marine biodiversity. The function of our oceans is crucial in sustaining life on Earth now more than ever, as it acts as a ‘sink’ for excess heat and CO2 produced by modern malpractice and over-consumption of natural resources. 

‘High seas’ are defined as the parts of the open ocean far from coastlines and economic areas. These areas are being devastated by poor, exploitative practices. These practices include deep-sea mining to generate energy, and activities such as whale hunting. Whaling has been widely denounced, however whale-hunting countries Norway, Iceland, and Japan still upholds the practice with some quota.

The Proposed Legislation

A United Nations treaty to legally protect high seas internationally could be implemented in the near future, though this suggestion is being met with disagreement by many countries, including whale-hunting countries, as well as the U.S.A. As it stands, most protective legislation is within smaller regions or own countries, however, there is currently no overarching law to protect the oceanic body as a whole, agreed upon by all member states of the UN.

If this legislation is successfully passed, it would protect and retain marine diversity and conserve the important functions of our oceans. Protected creatures include the bluefin tuna, of which only 12% of its population in 1975 remains in the oceans; in the Black Sea, bluefin tuna all but disappeared in the 1980s, and the population has yet to recover.

A Call for Stewardship

Until suitable bills are passed however, our ocean is at risk of being taken advantage, and we can help by promoting and supporting sustainable fishing practices, and minimising eating fish. After all, if we humans are the stewards of the Earth, is it not selfish to believe that we are the only organisms entitled to the fruits of the ocean? The ownership of the ocean lies with not just the humans that extract food, water, and jewels from it, but arguably more-so to the wonderful creatures that inhabit it.

Surely, it is not right that as a result of our human actions, harmful chemicals, radioactive waste and oil is deposited in the waters – destroying marine habitats, and is dismissed as just collateral damage. We must take responsibility and protect and appreciate the oceans, before they too are destroyed at our hands.


We are a not for profit socio-ethical impact initiative advocating for topics that matter, whilst supporting wider planetary change and acknowledgement. Support our journalism by considering becoming an advocate from just £1.


  • Twitter
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon


We are an innovative paper with the aim of aiding ones individual right to self-determination and choice. Through research and education, we hope to enable everyone to be informed on the topics that matter.

The causes we raise awareness for are: sustainability, climate change, environmental, nature, health, nutrition, mental health, mindfulness, sentience, science and more.

Support our mission by becoming an advocate today.

Truprint  |  2024

Stay informed with Tru.

By subscribing, you're agreeing to our privacy policy.

Tru Logo White - PNG.png
Front left.png
Preview - Test Cover.png

Our mission is to help society stay informed and much more

All proceeds generated go towards not-for-profit projects and initiatives

Our volunteers care about supporting 

people and the planet

Editor | Rebecca Rothwell

Deputy Editor | Laura Pollard




Name: The Truprint Group  Account: 37701460   

Sort code: 30-90-89

or PayPal

You can offer assistance in helping us achieve our goals, by becoming an advocate today.

The Truprint Group

  • Twitter
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon

Powered by advocates

"In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed."


- Charles Darwin

Photo by Brandi Redd

bottom of page