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.
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.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a major victory for the oceans by signing into law two critically important ocean protection bills. These bills will prohibit the cruise industry from dumping sewage from toilets and sewage from sinks and showers into state waters.
Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless received a letter from Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain committing his company to installing advanced wastewater treatment technology on all of its ships. The commitment was the culmination of an eleven month campaign Oceana had waged to convince Royal Caribbean, the second largest cruise company in the world, to stop dumping inadequately treated waste in the oceans. Royal Caribbean is the first cruise company to commit to upgrading sewage and wastewater treatment fleet-wide.
Oceana hailed Congress's decision to more than double the funding for federal fishery observer programs. Fishery observers are independent scientists who work alongside fishermen at sea to collect data on what is caught incidentally and thrown overboard. This increase in funding, made in the 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, is a significant first step towards improved management of our nation's fisheries.