Our Achievements

Since 2003, Oceana has achieved dozens of concrete policy victories for marine life and habitats in Europe. From stopping bottom trawling in sensitive habitat areas to protecting sea turtles from commercial fishing gear, our victories represent a new hope for the world's oceans.

November, 2016

First steps taken for depleted Mediterranean swordfish

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) finally agreed on a recovery plan for the severely depleted Mediterranean swordfish, which has shrunk by two thirds from the 1980s due to overfishing. The plan includes a modest reduction of catches and the adoption of a quota system, enforced by monitoring and control measures to prevent illegal fishing and improve transparency in the swordfish fishery management and trade. Oceana has fought for this iconic species for more than a decade, and will keep the pressure to ensure its full recovery.

September, 2016

1,400 square kilometers in the Balearic Islands protected from destructive fishing

After four years of Oceana’s campaigning for increased protections, Spain announced a ban on bottom trawling and other destructive fishing methods in a 1,400 square kilometer region between Mallorca and Menorca. The Spanish government also expanded the protected area in Fort d’en Moreu, a vibrant reef to the east of Cabrera that has been threatened by illegal trawling activity. The Spanish government’s compliance with EU legislation and action to protect valuable seascapes signifies a critical step towards securing greater protections – important for both habitat preservation and healthy marine ecosystems – in Spanish waters.

June, 2016

Deep-Sea Trawling Ban Protects 4.9 million km2 in European Oceans

Oceana in Europe campaigned with our colleagues in the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition for the prohibition of deep sea bottom trawling in the North East Atlantic waters. This victory provides increased protection for vulnerable marine ecosystems and deep-sea sharks. The European Parliament, Council and Commission reached an agreement that bans all trawling below 800m depth and that stops bottom fishing activity below 400m if the presence of vulnerable marine ecosystems is demonstrated. These actions protect 4.9 million km2 – an area larger than the EU itself.

June, 2016

Oceana Wins Protection for Essential Fish Habitats in the Strait of Sicily

Following campaigning by Oceana, three Fisheries Restricted Areas were created by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) in the Strait of Sicily, protecting 1,493 square km between Italy, Malta and Tunisia from bottom trawling and preserving nursery areas. By preserving these areas, essential fish habitats for commercial fisheries stocks, a key step has been made towards rebuilding the stock of hake – the most overfished species in the Mediterranean – and preserving the home to over 60% of the deep-sea rose shrimps caught in this sea. This is the first time management measures for shared stocks have been undertaken in the central Mediterranean, it is an historical step.

June, 2016

Unprecedented Step towards Protection of Mediterranean Deep-Sea Habitats

Mediterranean countries have committed to develop new management measures for vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) by 2018 at the latest. These unique ecosystems include cold water coral reefs, gardens of soft corals and deep-sea sponge aggregations, which are frequently associated with high levels of biodiversity. The first action will be to define a list of Mediterranean VME species, habitats, and related geological features (such as seamounts and canyons) as soon as possible, to be approved by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean  Scientific Advisory Committee in spring 2017.

http://eu.oceana.org/en/press-center/press-releases/mediterranean-countries-close-bottom-trawling-fishing-rebuild-fish

May, 2016

Denmark protects new areas with key ecosystems in Kattegat

On May 6th, the Danish government released its long-awaited decision to establish new marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Kattegat. The MPAs will protect fragile and threatened soft bottom species and habitats, such as sea pens and Haploops, which are largely left unprotected throughout European waters. Once in place, the 590 km2 areas, spread over nine fragmented regions, will defend key ecosystems that play an important role in maintaining healthy fish stocks.

http://eu.oceana.org/en/press-center/press-releases/oceana-congratulates-denmark-new-areas-protect-key-ecosystems-kattegat

October, 2015

First-Ever Fishing Ban Created for Danish Marine Parks

Thanks to a new regulation by the European Union, Denmark, Germany and Sweden will cease all fishing activity on sensitive bubbling reefs and end fishing with damaging bottom gear (such as bottom trawls) over reefs in protected Danish waters of the Baltic Sea and Kattegat. The new measures are the first of their kind in the Baltic Sea, and were jointly proposed by the three Member States. The regulation covers 10 Natura 2000 protected areas—which are the backbone of marine protected areas in the EU. Oceana has conducted multiple expeditions in the Baltic Sea that exposed the ecological significance of this region, and has campaigned for years for sustainable fishing and habitat protections.

August, 2015

Gorringe Bank to Receive EU Protection

Portugal proposes the inclusion of Gorringe Bank as a site within EU’s Natura 2000 network. This unique spot includes two seamounts, Gettysburg and Ormonde, located 160 nautical miles off the south western Portuguese coast. The seamounts extend from depths of 28 m and 33 m below sea level to more than 5,000 m and are accommodate very high biodiversity. Oceana’s findings and campaign played an important role in the decision after having identified more than 350 species during our expeditions in 2005, 2011 and 2012. Magnificent kelp forests, gorgonias, rays and many other fishes were filmed by our divers and ROV (remotely operated vehicle).

http://eu.oceana.org/en/our-work/gorringe-bank/overview

July, 2015

First ever database of EU fishing fleet around the world launched

Oceana and its allies launch the transparency database www.whofishesfar.org, an online database detailing 15,264 EU vessels authorised to fish outside EU waters between 2010 and 2014. The figures were made public for the first time after an access-to-information request to the European Commission. Transparency is a key element for eradicating illegal fishing and ensuring sustainable fisheries.

http://eu.oceana.org/en/press-center/press-releases/ngos-launch-fishing-transparency-website-identifying-15264-eu-vessels

January, 2015

Spain Announces Law to Fight Pirate Fishing

Spain, which is Europe’s largest fishing country and the biggest importer and exporter of seafood products in the European Union, has become the first Member State to take action against pirate fishing. Spain introduced a new fisheries law that imposes stronger penalties on Spanish citizens found to be involved with pirate fishing anywhere around the world. The new Spanish fisheries law, 33/2014, is the translation into Spanish legislation of the EU’s illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulation, which requires all EU member States to take action against citizens and companies found to be involved in any IUU fishing activities anywhere in the world. Under this new law, the Spanish government will be able to act against Spanish citizens who are benefiting from illegal fishing.

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