1. Oceana welcomed two new board members. Rogier van Vliet, chairman of the Adessium Foundation, and Ricardo Cisneros, chairman of Cisneros Corporation, joined the philanthropists, business people and scientists who make up Oceana’s leadership.
2. The European Commission has proposed a full ban on shark finning on E.U. vessels anywhere in the world. The proposal follows years of campaigning by Oceana, and would close loopholes in the current laws on shark finning, which allow cutting off fins at sea under certain circumstances.
3. Oceana joined other conservation groups in opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air permits for a Shell drillship in the Arctic. The ship, the Discoverer, is scheduled to drill in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2012. The permits allow Shell’s fleet to emit air pollutants that are harmful to human health and the environment.
4. Following Oceana’s research expedition in the Baltic Sea last spring, Oceana recommended a series of marine protected areas in the world’s largest inland sea. The recommended protected areas would save important habitats.
5. Outside Magazine named Oceana as a nonprofit that deserves your dollars in its “Year of Giving Adventurously” feature. “Oceana can point to dozens of policy victories on four continents in the past ten years,” the magazine noted.
6. Oceana’s expedition to Easter Island and Salas y Gómez Island with the Chilean Navy was featured in a documentary that ran on the National Geographic channel in January. Alex Muñoz, vice president for Oceana in Chile, was featured alongside National Geographic explorer Enric Sala as they compared the barren waters of Easter Island with the newly protected habitat around Salas y Gómez.