The truth is that people are selfish.


We care about “how this affects me” or ask ourselves, “what do I get out of it?” So how do we tell our beautifully diverse South African people (and the world) about our oceans and the need to protect them? How do we deliver a message that resonates for people, that gets their attention in a way that we have not been able to in the past? 

It is human nature to resist pressure being put on us to do or believe anything; We want to be autonomous and make our own choices. So, when that pressure is reduced, any internal resistance is dissolved, and the person is left with the opportunity to make their own choice. In the case of the WE DON’T NEED OUR OCEANS messaging, the hope is that when this is presented as acceptable, it is likely to immediately cause the response – “Of course we do!” (ideally followed by the actions required to save or protect our oceans). 

This campaign will show you a South Africa without our oceans. In doing so we hope to place a spotlight on just how much we depend on the ocean and mobilise a regional movement for increased protection. We also hope to inspire action and behaviour change (to contribute to the solution) while asking our decision-makers to increase protection from 5% to 10% with urgency, ultimately paving the way for African states to support a global target of at least 30% by 2030.

WE DON’T NEED OUR OCEANS is a branch off the OCEAN IMPACT campaign, underwriting a 3-year project driving advanced protection of South Africa’s oceans within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). 


Launched in 2018 by WILDOCEANS (a programme of the WILDTRUST supported by Oceans 5 in partnership with Ocean Unite and WWF-SA, the OCEAN IMPACT campaign hopes to support the establishment of 10% MPAs in South Africa’s waters by 2020 and to pave the way for African states to support a global target of 30% strongly protected by 2030.


In Year 1, the project was underpinned by the ONLY THIS MUCH campaign to create more conversations and national awareness about the importance and need for MPAs, and the inadequate 0.4% protection of the oceans around South Africa at that time. A key message in 2018 was therefore that ONLY THIS MUCH – 0.4%, was not enough.

On the 24th of May 2018, 20 new and expanded Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were announced by South Africa’s cabinet, and in October 2018 were officially gazetted, increasing protection from 0.4% to 5%.


This new phase saw the launch of OCEAN IMPACT in 2019 and an opportunity to celebrate the success already achieved and a chance to build new, positive energy for ongoing efforts by government and civil society to protect our oceans. 


The arrival of Covid-19 in South Africa in March 2020 and the subsequent lockdown of our country saw a shift in mindsets on many levels. This called for a different approach in ocean-conservation communication and campaigning, and WE DON’T NEED OUR OCEANS was birthed.