1. Oceana welcomed Susan Rockefeller as its newest board member. A filmmaker and author, Rockefeller is a longtime supporter, having chaired the Ocean Council and hosted numerous events for Oceana. She also created an ocean-inspired jewelry line which benefits Oceana.
2. In January, the U.S. government released a report from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. The Commission concluded that last summer’s Gulf of Mexico disaster was not an isolated incident, and that it was the result of systematic failure within the oil industry and government regulators. The Commission stopped short of recommending removing the liability cap for the oil industry in the case of another disaster.
3. Oceana announced the opening of its Copenhagen office in February. The office will focus on overfishing and marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea, and is funded by generous grants of $1 million from the Arcadia Fund and €500,000 from Zennström Philanthropies, both based in the U.K. The office is Oceana’s third in Europe, and is led by economist Anne Schroeer.
4. Arcadia Fund also awarded Oceana a grant supporting core work over three years. The $2.5 million award is the second such grant Oceana has received from Arcadia.
5. Oceana spokesman and Olympian Aaron Peirsol announced his retirement from competitive swimming after winning five gold medals. Peirsol teamed up with Oceana to start the Race for the Oceans, an open-swimming event that benefits ocean conservation.
6. The U.N. released its latest State of the Fisheries and Aquaculture report in January. The report noted that the global appetite for seafood continued to grow, and that many species were still at risk of collapse due to overfishing. The average person consumed 37.7 pounds of seafood in 2008, a slight increase from 37.2 pounds in 2007 that was mostly due to aquaculture.