The charter of the Citizen of the Ocean

océan Photo DigitalvisionThere is only one Global Ocean and it covers 72% of the Earth’s surface. This Ocean is essential for Humanity, so what does being a citizen of it mean?


The Citizenship of the Ocean, what is it?

The principle of Ocean Citizenship was introduced by the World Ocean Network to give us all a sense of our personal responsibility for the future of the Ocean. Citizenship creates a close bond between the Ocean and its citizens, it generates a shared sense of belonging and shared obligation to take action.

Citizenship means acknowledging that there is a public interest over and above individual interests. It also means accepting that we have both rights and obligations: the right to benefit from the Ocean’s resources and the obligation to preserve and protect them.

Citizenship of the Ocean, what for?

The Ocean covers more than 70% of the surface of the planet and plays a decisive role in planetary equilibria. It is important for all the planet’s basic life permitting mechanisms. Yet human activities are relentlessly degrading the Ocean. Over the last five years it has suffered on an unprecedented scale from pollution, from resource depletion and from the extinction of marine species.

Because the Ocean is in danger, because its role is vital for life on Earth, because both our future - and that of future generations - depend on what we do today to protect it, because individual and collective action by citizens can put an end to the damage being done, it has become crucial to make a reality of Ocean Citizenship. Citizenship is the foundation for the long-term, sustainable and intelligent stewardship of the Ocean.

Citizenship of the Ocean, for whom ?

For every inhabitant of the Earth, for all those who understand the plight of the ocean and the urgency of standing up to be counted in the fight to save it, in all our interests.

What does being a citizen of the Ocean involve ?

Each Citizen of the Ocean receives a passport. This passport serves as a guide, it explains the do’s and don’ts, and offers ideas for activities. It enables the citizen to inform others, to raise awareness and to keep a record of the activities they undertake.

Being a Citizen of the Ocean means making a commitment to protecting the Ocean for the well-being of present and future generations. It means applying the principle of sustainable development to the Global Ocean. It means being the Ocean’s spokesperson on Earth.

Rights & Obligations of the Citizen of the Ocean

The Citizen of the Ocean Passport confers rights:

  • To enjoy a privileged reception across the World Ocean Network, which includes a large number of Sea Centres, Aquariums and Museums all across the world.
  • To have one’s voice heard, as a defender of Humanity’s World Heritage.
  • To be recognised as an Ambassador for the Ocean (honorary title).
  •  but also duties:
  • To stay informed through the World Ocean Network and its members, and to act as a spokesperson for their activities.
  • To promote a better stewardship of the marine ecosystem and its resources.
  • To speak out whenever and wherever the Ocean is in danger. Citizens of the ocean will receive both a warm welcome and support for their initiatives from Nausicaa, as well as from all of the centres and organisations participating in the World Ocean Network. By learning about the issues and by informing others, by proposing new members and by participating in conservation work, Citizens of the Ocean become eligible for the title of “Ambassador”.


The Citizen of the Ocean passport

passeport du citoyen de l'océanFull details about the Citizen of the Ocean passport are available from the website

If you would like further information or would like to request an adult passport, please contact us.

Passports are also available from distributors in Africa, Asia, North America, Souh America, Europe and French overseas territories.

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