Since 2001, 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.
In a second high-level conference call between Whole Foods President Walter Robb and Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless, Whole Foods Markets commits to begin posting mercury warning signs at seafood counters across the country on September 1st. This was only hours before a scheduled press conference outside of their NYC store. Whole Foods operates almost 300 grocery stores nationwide.
OxyChem announced its decision to shift its chlorine production to a mercury-free facility and close its Muscle Shoals, Alabama chlorine plant by 2008. This action eliminated the top mercury polluter in the state. After this factory was shuttered, OxyChem announced it was a completely mercury-free company.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to prohibit commercial krill fishing in the federal waters off of California, Oregon and Washington. More than 5,000 Oceana activists contacted the Council to support a prohibition on krill fishing in the Pacific to protect our ocean ecosystem food web.
Along with a coalition of environmental and recreational fishing groups, Oceana developed a comprehensive, collaborative proposal to protect important undersea habitats, while maintaining vibrant fisheries off the U.S. West Coast. With the help of 19,373 Oceana Wavemaker comments, the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously to adopt the Oceana proposal, which was mostly approved by NOAA on March 8, 2006, protecting 140,000 square miles of ocean habitat from bottom trawling.
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.