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. To learn about more of Oceana's victories, see na.oceana.org/en/about-us/our-victories.
SATIIM and Indigenous Mayan Communities Supreme Court Victory is a Victory
for all Belizeans
The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Oceana in Belize salute the Sarstoon Temash Institute for
Indigenous Management (SATIIM) for its ongoing efforts to have the indigenous rights of the Maya of
Southern Belize respected.
Madam Justice Michelle Arana's historic ruling on April 3'd 2014 affirmed those rights when the Supreme
Court found that while the Government of Belize has the right to issue permits to explore for oil and
even drill, they must consult with the members of the affected indigenous communities to determine
what activities can happen on their lands as well as the forms of compensation to follow.
The lesson all Belizeans should take away from this issue is that we all have the inherent right to be part
of a consultative and participatory process in the management of our resources--especially when
political policies have the potential to cause irrevocable damage.
A Poll to Measure People's Perception on Oil Exploration and Drilling in Offshore Areas (Country)February 20, 2012
A random sample was selected of 4000 countrywide participants employing statistical technique simple random sampling employing random application software. The application included a database of landlines countrywide. Other statistical techniques were employed to ensure proportional representation of sample per target population per each district to ensure validity of results. The poll was conducted via telephone and interviews were conducted by a team of trained interviewees.
An instrument was created which included 7 questions measuring the major constructs pertaining to perceptions on oil exploration and drilling in offshore areas. The instrument was tested employing face validity and other statistical tests to validate reliability of results. Sample of the instrument is available for testing purposes.
The analysis was conducted employing SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Scientist) and included mainly frequencies and cross tabulations within each construct and variables of interest. All results are shown in graphs and tabular statistical tables. Tests were conducted within a confidence interval of 95% ( a margin of error of + - 5%).
October 2009 Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Turtle Island Restoration Network reached an agreement with the federal government in a lawsuit over violations of the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, the government failed to meet the 12-month legal deadline for responding to three separate petitions focusing on two sea turtle species in U.S. waters off the East and West coasts.
Oceana was instrumental in clearing the Mercury Pollution Reduction Act (H.R. 2190) past a critical legislative hurdle, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), would require chlor-alkali plants to end their unnecessary use of mercury-based technology in chlorine and caustic soda production. Oceana is now working to ensure the bill's passage in the Senate and on the House floor.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved a plan to protect more than 23,000 square miles of known deep-sea coral from North Carolina to Florida from destructive fishing gear. Five years in the making, the vote will restrict the footprint of bottom trawls - one of the most nonselective fishing gears currently in use, capable of destroying thousand-year-old coral reefs and moving 18-ton rocks - and help to restore the long-term productivity of commercially valuable fish that take refuge in these rare corals.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took its final step in an effort to protect threatened sea turtles from the bottom longline sector of the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery. Specifically, the Council voted to close all bottom longline fishing shoreward of 35 fathoms (approximately 210 feet) from June to August, a time when large numbers of loggerheads were caught in previous years, and to restrict longline fishing of all vessels that have a history of catching at least 40,000 lbs of reef fish each year.
Federal policymakers released the final regulations banning all fishing for krill in U.S. Pacific waters of California, Oregon and Washington. This action was led by Oceana and others and has had strong support from scientists, conservationists, fishermen, coastal businesses and local communities.
The Oregon state legislature passed a bill to establish Oregon's first two marine reserves and a protected area in its coastal waters, and defined a two year process to evaluate and implement additional areas to build a network of protected areas and reserves. Oceana worked to identify the Important Ecological Areas off the Oregon coast and with a coalition of conservationists, scientists, and local communities, advanced a statewide proposal to protect Oregon's coastal ocean ecosystem.
The federal Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to maintain a standing prohibition on a West Coast-based high seas longline fishery. The vote will prevent the opening of a new swordfish fishery that would threaten migrating loggerhead sea turtles and other marine wildlife on the high seas of the north Pacific Ocean.
After Oceana's advocacy work, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) put in place an emergency closure of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to bottom longline fishing gear from the reef fish fishery to protect sea turtles. The closure included all waters shallower than 50 fathoms for a period of six months. NMFS took this action after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted (10-7) to ask them to do so. Oceana was instrumental in pushing both the Agency and the Council to take these actions to protect sea turtles.