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.
The National Marine Fisheries Service finalized protection of 41,914 square miles of protected critical ocean habitat off the shores of Washington, Oregon and California for the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle. The final rule establishes critical habitat in areas where leatherbacks feed on jellyfish after swimming 6,000 miles across the ocean from nests in Indonesia. This is the first permanent safe haven for leatherbacks designated in continental U.S. waters and is the largest area set aside to protect sea turtle habitat in the United States or its territories.
The final protection comes in response to a petition submitted in 2007 by Oceana, Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center, followed by two years of delay by the agency, missing multiple legal deadlines specified in the Endangered Species Act.Read Press Release
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law making it illegal to sell, trade, possess, or distribute shark fins in California. With the governor's signature, the law completes a West Coast ban. California joined the ranks of Washington State, Oregon and Hawaii, who have all passed similar bans. The coastwide ban on the shark fin trade will help protect global populations of at-risk shark species that are being targeted in unsustainable and unregulated fisheries worldwide.Read Press Release
The California Senate passed a ban on the sale, trade, possession, and distribution of shark fins in the state, completing a sweeping West Coast ban on the trade of shark fins. Oceana was instrumental in the passage of this bill to protect the ocean’s apex predators. Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands have also passed similar bills.Read Press Release
Oceana Chile obtained official government statistics that show the direct results of Oceana’s campaign to reduce the use of antibiotics in the Chilean salmon farming industry, which began in 2008.
Oceana found that the total use of antibiotics per ton of salmon produced decreased by 19% from 2007 to 2010. Oceana campaigned for a ban on the quinolones family of antibiotics, which are not permitted for use in livestock in some countries as a result of public health concerns. Although the Chilean government did not introduce a formal ban on quinolones, the use of this family of antibiotics per ton of farmed salmon produced was reduced by 96% from 2007 to 2010.
The Chilean National Congress unanimously passed a nationwide ban on shark finning. Oceana drafted the bill and campaigned for its passage.This groundbreaking decision came on the heels of a very similar ban passed by the United States Congress lin December 2010, and puts both countries at the forefront of shark conservation.Read Press Release
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of Oceana in a suit that will require commercial fisheries from North Carolina to the Canadian border to monitor and report the amount of bycatch, or untargeted marine life, they discard. The decision is a triumph against one of the biggest problems facing our oceans today. Tons of fish are wasted and thousands of marine mammals, sea turtles, sharks and sea birds are injured or killed every year as bycatch.Read Press Release
Following years of campaign work by Oceana, the United States, New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Iceland and Norway released a joint statement that was submitted to the WTO calling for a reduction in fisheries subsidies. Read the full statement here.
At international delegation passed new conservation measures that will protect more than 16.1 million square miles of seafloor habitat in the North Pacific Ocean from bottom trawling and other bottom contact gear. Participating nations, including the U.S., Canada, Japan, Russia, China, Korea and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), acted on a commitment they made at the United Nations General Assembly to enact interim conservation measures to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems, like seamounts, deep-sea corals and hydrothermal vents, in international waters. Oceana and others have been working to advance these measures since 2006.Read Press Release
For the second time in less than a year, Oceana helped defeat a coal-fired power plant on the coast of Northern Chile. The CAP company announced that it was withdrawing its plans to construct the Cruz Grande thermoelectric power plant. Cruz Grande was slated to be a 300-megawatt thermoelectric power plant in the region of La Higuera in Northern Chile, a few miles from the Choros-Damas and Chañaral island marine reserves, and near the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve, which is home to the world’s largest population of Humboldt penguins. The region also hosts communities of bottlenose dolphins, marine otters and many marine birds and mammals, including blue whales.Read Press Release
In a huge triumph for the U.S. Arctic, Shell announced it would cancel plans to drill exploratory wells offshore in Alaska due to continued uncertainty over whether it would receive federal permits. Shell had hoped to drill exploratory wells in 2010 in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, but its plans were put on hold by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar after the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Oceana has been instrumental in monitoring the permitting process and holding policymakers accountable for upholding the law.Read Press Release