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.
Oceana, along with other conservation organizations, helped advance legislation that would establish a national requirement to land sharks with fins attached. In March 2009, after significant advocacy by Oceana, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 81) to improve existing laws originally intended to prevent shark finning. The bill requires sharks to be landed with their fins naturally attached, which allows for better enforcement and data collection for use in stock assessments and quota monitoring.
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) voted to prevent the expansion of industrial fishing into all U.S. waters north of the Bering Strait for the foreseeable future to limit stress on ocean ecosystems in light of the dramatic impacts of global climate change in the Arctic. With no large-scale commercial fishing in the U.S. Arctic at present, this decision establishes one of the largest preventative and precautionary measures in fisheries management history.
The Spanish government, after campaigning and consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks and evaluate the viability of landing sharks “whole” with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark catching and exporting countries in the world.
The Spanish government, after campaigning and consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks and evaluate the viability of landing sharks whole with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark catching and exporting countries in the world.
After more than a year of pressure from Oceana, Dr. Susan Lark, an online wellness personality who markets health and beauty products, announced that she will sell cosmetic products containing squalane derived from olives rather than deep-sea sharks. More than 15,000 Wavemakers contacted Lark, telling her it was unconscionable to sacrifice already at-risk shark populations for the sake of beauty.
After campaigning by Oceana, the Chilean government recommended ending the excessive use of antibiotics in salmon farms. This will stop the overuse of antibiotics created for human health, end the overpopulation of salmon pens, lessen the amount of waste and salmon released into the marine environment and slow down the expansion of the industry to the heretofore pristine fjords of Patagonia.
Fishery managers reduced the catch level for the Bering Sea pollock fishery, the largest fishery in North America, by 18 percent to around 815,000 metric tons for the 2009 season. The new limit was put in place due to declining pollock numbers, and a recognition of the importance of pollock to the ecosystems of the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea. Pollock are a central food source for endangered Steller sea lions, salmon, fur seals, halibut, seabirds and other animals.
The federal government has begun implementation of a “risk assessment” for the Aleutian Islands, the critical first step towards getting meaningful spill response capabilities in place for the region. The risk assessment will help policy makers and the Coast Guard in designing and implementing a spill response plan for the Aleutians that includes adequate funding for the complete monitoring of all ship traffic and ensuring necessary training, resources and equipment in place locally for the Aleutians.