Ocean as Common


The oceans are IMOCA Class skippers' fiels of expression whist particpating in races and training. As such, sailors are the first to witness that the protection of the oceans is an issue and a responsibility about which they are inherently sensitive.

Catherine Chabaud was the first woman to complete a solo round the world race in the 1996 Vendée Globe. Today, she is launching an appeal for the ocean to be proclaimed a common heritage of mankind by the United Nations.

It is an approach that reflects sailors' concerns. The latter's approach is increasingly part of a responsible approach, tht embraces the fundamental ecological role that the oceans play on our planet.

This is why the IMOCA Class has decided to support the appeal launched on 8 June 2018 in Monaco on the occasion of World Oceans Day and within the context of the launch of the IMOCA Globe Series.

READ THE appeal FOR An OCEAN as a common good OF mankind

There is but One Ocean, global and endless ocean.

The great current that runs through it, sometimes on the surface where it’s warmed, sometimes in the depths where it becomes cold, unites every part of it. It takes a thousand years for a drop of water to flow all around the world.

The Ocean is a treasure for Humanity.

Thanks to its dynamism and its interaction with the air, the Ocean captures carbon, generates half of the oxygen in the atmosphere and controls the climate. The rich biodiversity and the abundance of life it hosts, both feed us and protect our coasts. Every single day, we benefit immensely from its energy, its contents and from the medicines we’re discovering in it. Since the beginning of time, it has brought humans together and enabled virtually all the world’s commercial trade. It fills us with wonder and it inspires us.

It’s the future of Humanity, yet it’s under threat.

We’re drowning our Ocean in garbage, plastics, polluted waters and carbon gases. Right now, we’re plundering its fish and destroying its habitats. Tomorrow, will we do the same with its genetic and mineral resources? As the object of our relentless and ever-competitive needs, will the Ocean become the cause and the stage of future armed conflicts?

The Ocean is everyone's responsibility.

The international agreements from the second half of the 20th century have put in place a regime that has long been considered necessary and sufficient for the management of the Ocean. However, it is imperative that we expand this concept further and together develop a new approach that places collective responsibility well above the traditional principles of freedom and ownership of the Ocean.

The Ocean is the Common heritage of mankind. 

The foreword to the Paris Agreement on climate encourages all States to watch over the integrity of the Ocean as an ecosystem, with a view to protecting its vast biodiversity. Currently, the United Nations is rushing to finalise a legal regime for the High Seas that better protects them while enabling the sustainable use of their resources.


“However, we, the signatories of this Appeal, consider that the whole Ocean is under threat and vigorously demand that all marine spaces, from the coasts to the High Seas, be considered as a Common Heritage of Mankind.”

sign the appeal