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.

October, 2009

Protecting Sharks

Following Oceana advocacy, the EU and USA governments proposed 8 species of sharks to CITES Appendix II. In preparation for the CITES negotiations in March 2010, the United States submitted the oceanic whitetip, dusky, sandbar, and three species of hammerhead shark – great, scalloped and smooth – for increased protection under these international trade rules. The European Union did the same for spiny dogfish (used for fish and chips) and the highly migratory porbeagle shark. If the proposals would have been adopted, export permits would have been only issued for shark products from these species if the products could be proven to be legal and sustainable.

September, 2009

Protecting Habitat in the Atlantic

Capping a five-year effort, Oceana helped persuade the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to protect 59,000km2 of valuable deep-sea corals stretching from North Carolina to Florida by banning all bottom trawl activity in the area. Known as America’s largest continuous deep sea coral ecosystem, the area includes hundreds of pinnacles up to 500 feet tall and provides critical fish habitat for commercially valuable species like snapper, grouper, wreckfish, royal red shrimp and golden crab. Closing the area to bottom trawling will help ensure the long-term productivity of these species. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now must approve the plan.

August, 2009

Protecting Habitat

Beginning November 2009, bottom trawls and dredges will be prohibited in four deepwater canyons along the US Atlantic coast – a move that will protect the Atlantic tilefish fishery but that will also preserve a rich ecosystem that supports lobster, deep sea corals and sponges living in the canyons. Oceana pushed the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to close the canyons (Oceanographer, Lydonia, Veatch and Norfolk), which range from Massachusetts to Virginia.

August, 2009

Saving sea turtles

After campaigning by Oceana, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted to put in place new restrictions on bottom longline fishing off the west coast of Florida that will save hundreds of loggerhead sea turtles each year. The measures reduce the number of vessels eligible to fish with bottom longline gear by 80 percent, limit the number of hooks allowed on each vessel, and ban bottom longline fishing from June to August in waters up to about 210 feet deep. The National

Marine Fisheries Service now must act on the proposed plan.

July, 2009

United States will protect the food web

Following a multi-year advocacy campaign led by Oceana and others, and with the strong support of scientists, governors, conservationists, fishermen, coastal businesses and local communities, the federal government issued final regulations banning all fishing for krill in the U.S. Pacific waters of California, Oregon and Washington. Krill is the general name used for 85 species of small shrimp-like crustaceans that are a primary component of the diet for salmon, whales, seabirds and other animals, and play an essential role in the health of ocean ecosystems. Worldwide, ocean wildlife is estimated to consume between 150 and 300 million metric tons of krill each year. As a precautionary measure, the ban on commercial krill fisheries protects the vast marine food web that ultimately supports major commercial fisheries.

June, 2009

Spain will protect marine habitats

In honor of World Environment Day on June 5th and to implement the European Union’s commitment with the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Spanish government announced the creation of ten new Marine Protected Areas in Spain’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Oceana has played a key role in identifying and proposing protections for marine areas of interest in an effort led by the Spanish government to implement the European Union’s biodiversity goals.

June, 2009

Spain saving sharks

Spain’s Ministry of Environment and Fisheries Council committed to regulations prohibiting catches of thresher and hammerhead sharks - just two of the many shark species throughout European waters that are endangered. Following defeat of this same proposal through the international ICCAT (link9) process in late 2008, the Spanish government promised Oceana it would pursue these prohibitions through domestic legislation.

March, 2009

Ending excessive antibiotic use in Chilean salmon farms

After campaigning by Oceana, the Chilean government committed to ending the excessive use of antibiotics in salmon farms. This will stop the overuse of antibiotics created for human health, end the overpopulation of salmon pens, lessen the amount of waste and salmon released into the marine environment and slow down the expansion of the industry fjords of Patagonia.

March, 2009

U.S. House protects sharks

After campaigning by Oceana, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shark Conservation Act of 2009, which improves existing laws to prevent shark finning by requiring that sharks be landed with their fins still naturally attached in all U.S. waters.

February, 2009

Protecting the Arctic from industrial fishing

After years of work by Oceana and other conservation groups, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously to prevent the expansion of industrial fishing into all U.S. waters north of the Bering Strait in order to limit stress on ocean ecosystems in light of the dramatic impacts of global climate change in the Arctic. The decision is one of the largest precautionary measures in fisheries management history. Oceana has now protected more than one million square miles of ocean in the Pacific.

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