• Mackerel Friday: Spain overshoots 2010 quota by 79%

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: March 4, 2011

    OCEANA MackerelMackerel’s been quite a hot topic over the past few months. You may remember last year’s “Mackerel Wars” between Iceland (and the Faroe Islands) and the EU.

    Unfortunately, Mackerel isn’t only overfished up north. The Commission recently reprimanded Spain for going over its 2010 allocated mackerel quota by 79% or 19,621 tons. The Spanish fleet’s blatant disregard of the regulations in place only serves to highlight the government’s passiveness and inability to control the sector.

    The lack of compliance with fishing agreements not only puts the conservation of mackerel stocks in danger, but also leads to serious socioeconomic consequences for the sector and associated industries.

  • 1.3 Million tons of wasted fish a year: What’s being done about it?

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: March 2, 2011

    1.3 Million Tons – That’s how many marine fish (and other organisms) are discarded and dumped overboard (dead most often than not) by EU fishermen every year.

    OCEANA discardsThe amount of waste, which represents 13% of the total catch, is difficult to fathom, and even more so at a time when we are fighting so hard to end overfishing and push for sustainable fisheries.

    The discard issue has rightfully been all over the news in the past few weeks – from Hugh’s fish fight to  concerns over how a ban on discards would affect the industry.

  • Meet: Sea Slugs and Oceana MedNet

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: February 25, 2011

    Bet you never thought a sea slug could ever be stunning. This photo of a nudibranch (or sea slug) was taken during one of our expeditions in the Mediterranean off the coast of Alicante, Spain.

    Every time we send our photographers into the depths, we are amazed at the incredible diversity of marine organisms they are able to capture with their lenses. That is why we work so hard to push for Marine Protected Areas – so we can help preserve the rich biodiversity of Europe’s waters.

  • Meet: Seahorse

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: February 18, 2011

    SeahorseWe found this little guy in Galicia, Spain during our 2008 at-sea Oceana Ranger expedition.

    Here’s a fun fact about seahorses: the males are the ones who get pregnant and seahorse babies are born inside the male pouch.

    But here are some not so fun facts about seahorses, which are fished for use in traditional medicines throughout Asia and aquariums: Overfishing, pollution, climate change and habitat depletion have severely depleted seahorse populations.

    The 2004 CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) convention provided international protection to seahorses  by setting a minimum catch size allowing them to reproduce while allowing some fishing - though Indonesia, Japan, Norway, and South Korea opted out of the trade rules at the time.

  • One step towards conservation in the Basque region

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: February 17, 2011

    JaizkibelFor years we’ve been fighting to protect a large marine area in the Basque region called Jaizkibel – our objective is to create a marine ecological corridor between San Sebastian and Biarritz for inclusion in the Natura 2000 network.

    It’s been a long struggle, especially because there are plans to build a port in the area – a move that would endanger thousands of marine communities, species and habitats.

    But we’ve just received a bit of good news – The Basque parliament has approved a motion calling on the government of the autonomous region to take a year to study the proposal that we submitted in partnership with COBE, and assess the possibility of creating the marine protected area.

  • A New Friday Tradition: Meet Turtle

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: February 11, 2011

    Caretta carettaWe’ve decided to start a new tradition on this blog: every Friday, we’ll share with you a picture of some of the amazing flora and fauna we are fighting so hard to protect and give you a little background on the threats it is facing. We have the advantage of having a terrific team of photographers who participate in our at-sea expeditions, so we might as well use it to help our supporters better understand what we’re doing.

    Meet “turtle” – we found him swimming near the surface of the water off the coast of Sardinia, Italy.

    Endangered turtles are often caught unintentionally, as bycatch by fishing vessels using nets, including driftnets, that don’t discriminate. Driftnets were banned by the EU in 2002, but unfortunately not all fleets are abiding by the rule. As recently as last year, Oceana’s team of observers found vessels in the port of Bagnara Calabra (in Italy) that were still using the gear.

  • Did you know?

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: February 4, 2011

    In our effort to interact with our supporters more, it occurred to us that not everyone may  be aware of the different ways in which to stay up to date with our work and get up to speed on the many issues in marine conservation.

  • Kung Hei Fat Choi – but hold the shark fin soup, please!

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: February 3, 2011

    Today millions of people around the world are celebrating the Chinese New Year and ushering in the Year of the Rabbit with family, friends, food and conversation.

  • And the winners are….

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: January 20, 2011

    Our first giveaway contest came to a close last week, and the winners are (drumroll please)…..
    Tom Hoseason from the UK, Magdalena from Austria and Rosa Morant, Rafael Fosela and José Manuel Pena,  from Spain

    Thank you all so much for your support of our work.

    You’ll be receiving your gift bags shortly. We hope you enjoy them!

  • New Year, New You

    Author: Angela Pauly
    Date: January 10, 2011

    By now we hope you’ve all had a chance to ease into 2011. It’s going to be a big one for us here at Oceana Europe and we are gearing up for it.

    Over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting some of the issues we’ll be focusing on throughout the year.

    One thing we are committing to doing better this year is connecting with our supporters, be it via twitter, facebook, or this blog. The latter of which, as you may have noticed has been upgraded to feature an RSS feed option and a comments section among others.