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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.

February, 2009

The European Commission released the Community Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks

Many of Europe’s shark and related ray populations have been depleted in the past 30 years, primarily due to fisheries overexploitation by large European shark fishing fleets. The Plan of Action does include some positive aspects, including a shark discard ban and a requirement to land shark fins and bodies at the same time and in the same port.

February, 2009

The European Court of Justice formally ruled against France for its failure to control the illegal use by its fleet of driftnets in the Mediterranean.

The Court also formally denied France’s request to consider future exemptions for its fleet from the EU driftnet ban.  In Italy, the Calabrian prosecutor formally charged several driftnetters for illegal activities and has since kept them ashore under house arrest. 

January, 2009

Future transboundary French-Spanish MPA

The Spanish Ministry of Enviroment and Rural and Marine Affairs start cooperating with France to declare a cross-border marine protected area at Creus Cap waters together with the Marine Protected Park existent at French waters. Oceana has studied this marine area and has provided to the Spanish Government this scientific information to ask for this protection.

January, 2009

Protecting sea turtles from longlines

After months of pressure from Oceana and other groups, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council initiated a six-month emergency rule prohibiting longline fishing gear in waters where sea turtles forage, effective as soon as possible. According to recent government data, nearly 1,000 sea turtles were caught by bottom longlines in this fishery in just 18 months, eight times the federally authorized limit. The U.S. government has determined that every species of sea turtle in the United States is threatened or endangered by extinction.

January, 2009

Saving hammerhead, thresher, blue and shortfin mako sharks

The Spanish government, after consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks, and evaluate the viability of landing sharks “whole” with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark fishing and exporting countries in the world.

August, 2008

Costco Agrees to Post Warning on mercury in Seafood

Costco Wholesale Corporation committed to warning its customers about mercury contamination in fish by posting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (link11) mercury warning on signs at seafood counters in all its stores. The move, prompted by requests from Oceana and Costco members, followed similar action by other major grocery chains nationwide. Thanks to Oceana’s campaign, more than 36 percent of major U.S. grocery stores now post the FDA warning.

July, 2008

Sparing more than 46,5 million hectares of Bering Sea floor from bottom trawling

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that it will adopt Oceana’s “freeze-the-footprint” approach by closing nearly 46,5 million hectares of the Bering Sea to destructive bottom trawling to protect important seafloor habitats and marine life. The area protected is larger than the state of California.

June, 2008

Protecting king salmon

The world’s largest fishery, Alaska’s pollock industry, accidentally catches and kills king salmon, an important species both commercially and ecologically. Accidentally killing and catching non-targeted species is known as “bycatch,” and 7 million kg of unwanted and wasted fish are thrown back into the water every year. After pressure from Oceana and its allies, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council moved forward in June on capping salmon bycatch in the pollock fishery.

February, 2008

Banning Mediterranean driftnetting

After Oceana showed that some fishing ships continued to use illegal fishing gear, the European Court of Justice rejected further requests by the French government for exemptions from the EU ban on driftnetting in the Mediterranean Sea. This ruling spares 25,000 juvenile bluefin tuna caught annually in the driftnets, along with thousands of other types of marine animals, including whales, dolphins, other marine mammals, seabirds and countless species of fish and sealife.

December, 2007

Ending the sale of shark-based squalane

Thousands of Oceana supporters contacted the Vermont Country Story, a leading catalog retailer, to convince it to stop selling a skin enhancer containing squalane. The oil is obtained from the livers of deep-sea sharks threatened by extinction. In an ironic note, the product was marketed under the name “Oceana.”

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