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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.

December, 2017

21 countries and the EU protect endangered cold-water corals throughout the Mediterranean

As a result of Oceana’s advocacy, four deep-sea coral species will now be protected in the Mediterranean. The UN’s Barcelona Convention, a multi-country regional sea convention, voted in favor of adding four additional coral species – cockscomb cup coral, yellow-tree coral, yellow coral and bamboo coral – to the list of endangered or threatened species in the Mediterranean Sea. This action will protect these animals and help to ensure the survival of marine life that live and depend on these underwater coral gardens. The members of the Barcelona Convention include: Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, the European Union, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

October, 2017

Global insurers unite to cut financial lifeline to pirate fishing

Leading insurers from around the world comitted to take action on pirate fishing, an unlawful practice that costs the global economy tens of billions of dollars in losses every year and contributes to overfishing and the destruction of vital marine habitats and ecosystems. Oceana and UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI) facilitated the development of the world’s first insurance industry statement on sustainable marine insurance. The document was co-sponsored by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, AXA, Generali, Hanseatic Underwriters and The Shipowners’ Club, and it confirms their commitment to not knowingly insure or facilitate the insuring of vessels that have been blacklisted for their involvement in pirate fishing—also known as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

June, 2017

Legal Reform Makes EU’s External Fishing Fleet More Transparent, Accountable and Sustainable

The European Commission, Parliament and Council of Fisheries Ministers announced a new regulation governing the European Union’s extensive external fishing fleet. One third of total European catches are made on the high seas and in the waters of non EU countries. Since 2008, the EU has authorized over 23,000 vessels to fish outside EU waters. The new law applies the same strict requirements to all EU vessels fishing in the waters of other nations, promoting responsible fishing around the world. The new rules also make it public for the first time which vessels fish where, including private agreements, where an EU-flagged vessel makes a direct contract with the government of a non-EU coastal state to fish in its waters. Finally, the new regulation stops so-called abusive reflagging, where a vessel repeatedly and rapidly changes its flag for the purposes of circumventing conservation measures. In total, the new law makes the EU external fleet one of the most transparent in the world. Oceana led a two-year campaign pushing for these new measures. Learn more: http://www.whofishesfar.org/

 

 

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 Atlantic Ocean

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.

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.

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.

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