In fewer than ten years, Oceana has achieved dozens of concrete policy victories for marine life and habitats. 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.
After two years of intensive lobbying by Oceana staff in Brussels and Madrid, the European Union prohibited destructive fishing practices, including bottom trawling, in over 500,000 square miles around the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands.
Oceana partners held press conferences at stores across the U.S. including at a Trader Joe’s in Philadelphia (Clean Air Council) and at Whole Foods in Boston (Clean Water Action.).
Soon afterward, Wild Oats reiterated its intent to post signs at all of its stores and actually followed through. This made Wild Oats the first company to do this and it served as a leader for others that would follow. Since that time, Wild Oats has been purchased by Whole Foods.
A new law was passed by the European Union that imposes criminal sanctions, including heavy fines and even jail terms, for the owners, operators and financiers of boats that illegally dump oily waters and residues into the sea. The new law could prevent as much as 20,000,000 tons of polluting substances from getting into the ocean every year – the single biggest reduction in oil pollution in decades, anywhere in the world.
For years a Chilean law to place professional observers aboard fishing fleets existed but was ignored. Oceana successfully convinced the government to enforce the law and professional observers are now at last beginning to monitor Chile’s commercial fishing operations.
Deep-Sea Corals in Atlantic Ocean Canyons Protected, Fishery Managers Limit Monkfish Bottom TrawlingApril, 2005
America's oceans won a major victory when the New England Fishery Management Council voted to protect deep-sea coral communities in New England and mid-Atlantic offshore submarine canyons from destructive monkfish bottom trawling gear. The council adopted an Oceana-supported amendment to the monkfish management plan that bans fishing for monkfish by bottom trawling in the Oceanographer and Lydonia canyons where marine scientists have identified and studied large deep-sea coral communities.
In an historic victory for protecting our oceans, and the largest such action taken anywhere in the world, U.S. authorities closed to destructive commercial fishing nearly one million square kilometers of north Pacific Ocean surrounding the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, an area equal to Texas and California combined.
Mid-Atlantic Council Decision to Ban Bottom Trawling in Ocean Canyons Follows Trend Begun by New England PanelOctober, 2004
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council unanimously voted to accept the recent New England council decision to protect deep-sea coral communities in New England and Mid-Atlantic sub-marine canyons from destructive monkfish bottom trawling gear. These decisions are the first indication that fishery managers are using new scientific research to protect invaluable marine life, such as deep-sea corals.
California Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Law to Protect Ocean Habitat and Vibrant FisheriesOctober, 2004
California Governor Schwarzenegger signed a law that will further protect California's valuable Pacific waters from destructive fishing practices. Senate Bill 1459, sponsored by Senator Dede Alpert (D-San Diego) and approved by a bipartisan majority in both houses, ensures that fishing with bottom trawl nets that are dragged along the seafloor is conducted in a manner that protects marine life in waters off the California coast.