Oceans 5 supports an international collaboration, the Great British Oceans campaign, which is calling on the British government to protect 1.75 million square kilometers (676,000 square miles) of ocean in three overseas territories—the Pitcairn Islands, Ascension Island and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The United Kingdom (UK) has the fifth largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the world when its Overseas Territories (UKOT) are included. Over 94% of the UK’s unique biodiversity is found in the UKOT, including unique habitats and endemic, rare and threatened species.
At over 500,000 km² (193,000 square miles), a marine reserve around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands would be the largest in the Southern Ocean. Uninhabited by humans, these volcanic islands host huge concentrations of wildlife, including vast penguin colonies and significant whale populations.
At over 440,000km² (170,000 square miles), Ascension Island’s waters are one of the few remaining hotspots for Atlantic megafauna including turtles, tunas, marlins and sharks.
A marine reserve in the Pitcairn Island group was announced in 2015. Once legislated, it will offer protection to some of the most pristine waters and coral reefs on earth. At 834,000km² (322,000 square miles), this would be the largest fully protected marine reserve on earth.
The campaign is a collaboration between the Blue Marine Foundation, Greenpeace UK, Marine Conservation Society, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, Pew Charitable Trusts, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and Zoological Society of London.