As part of our policy work on reforming the Common Fisheries Policy, Oceana often teams up with other NGOs in the area so as to maximize our influence on decision makers in Brussels and the EU.
Here’s a great video that came out of this partnership that clearly explains the scale of the overfishing problem. It was made by Ocean2012 and we signed onto it along with Greenpeace and Birdlife International.
In 1992, at the original Earth Summit in Rio, the world came together to shape a brighter future for the planet. Yet 20 years later, the oceans have received far less protection than land, deep sea areas in particular have been ignored, marine protected areas are few and far between, while many are poorly (if at all) managed, and overfishing is rampant. Meanwhile, the international commitment we made to protect 10% of the oceans by 2012 has been delayed to 2020.
It’s hard to imagine that if thousands of hectares of forest in Europe were being scraped away and dying off, politicians - even those not very environmentally “inclined” - would avoid protecting these vital habitats.
Aside from the important scientific data we gather to use in promoting the designation of Marine Protected Areas, one of the best (and my favorite) outcomes of our at-sea expeditions are the incredibly beautiful images that our photographers capture.
While shark finning has technically been banned in the EU since 2003, a number of loopholes remain. Some countries grant special permits that allow fishing vessels to remove shark fins on board, on the basis that they keep both fins and meat and that landed fins do not exceed 5% of the live weight of sharks caught. This ratio is among the most lenient globally, and an additional loophole in the legislation allows fins and carcasses to be landed separately, making monitoring very difficult.