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.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that it will adopt Oceana’s “freeze-the-footprint” approach by closing nearly 180,000 square miles of the Bering Sea to destructive bottom trawlingto protect important seafloor habitats and marine life.
New Magnuson-Stevens Act Passed
Oceana helped campaign for new legislation that significantly improves the protection of deep-sea coralsand sponges from bottom trawlingand other destructive fishing gear. This bill as passed makes marginal improvements to the existing Magnuson-Stevens Act.
America's oceans won a major victory when the New England Fishery Management Council voted to protect deep-sea coral communities in New England and mid-Atlantic offshore submarine canyons from destructive monkfish bottom trawlinggear. The council adopted an Oceana-supported amendment to the monkfish management plan that bans fishing for monkfish by bottom trawling in the Oceanographer and Lydonia canyons where marine scientists have identified and studied large deep-sea coral communities.
President Bush Includes Instructions to Protect Deep-Sea Corals in his U.S. Ocean Action Plan
President Bush's U.S. Ocean Action Plan is his response to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, which stated that our oceans are in crisis and outlined a strategy to protect deep-sea corals.
Mid-Atlantic Council Decision to Ban Bottom Trawling in Ocean Canyons Follows Trend Begun by New England Panel
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council unanimously voted to accept the recent New England councildecision to protect deep-sea coral communities in New England and Mid-Atlantic sub-marine canyons from destructive monkfishbottom trawling gear. These decisions are the first indication that fishery managers are using new scientific research to protect invaluable marine life, such as deep-sea corals.