Oceana today commends the report released by the Pew Oceans Commission, “America’s Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change.” The report, the first comprehensive look at the health of our oceans in 30 years, accurately describes the many threats to the ocean and offers realistic recommendations that our government should adopt.
“The report paints a bleak future for our oceans unless we get to work right now to protect our ocean resources from destructive fishing practices and pollution,” said Dr. Michael Hirshfield, chief scientist at Oceana. “Although it’s clear that our oceans are in crisis, our laws and government policies simply aren’t addressing it. Oceana’s mission is to do whatever it takes to end this crisis and restore the oceans to health.”
Consistent with the Pew Oceans Commission recommendations, Oceana has already started to solve these problems by working on two major campaigns to stop destructive fishing practices. The Stop DirtyFishing™ campaign is working to eliminate the approximately 44 billion pounds of fish – an amount equal to 25 percent of the world catch – that are wasted in the course of commercial fishing.
The Stop Bottom Trawling campaign is working to prohibit the use of bottom trawling fishing gear—the world’s most damaging fishing method—which is systematically destroying the oceans by indiscriminately killing fish and marine life such as corals and sponge. Oceana works with fishermen and women, fishery councils, and the federal government to determine ways to protect the fisheries for current and future generations.
Another recommendation of the Commission is also being addressed by Oceana’s Stop Cruise Pollution Campaign that is working to drastically limit cruise ship pollution. Oceana is conducting a public education and outreach campaign to pressure the cruise industry to install and use state-of-the-art technology to treat gray and black water, ballast and toxic waste and limit air pollution. At the same time, Oceana is advocating for federal and state legislative activities to strengthen controls on cruise pollution.
“The ocean cannot be regarded as a dumping ground with limitless resources for us to abuse,” said Hirshfield. “Restoring and protecting our oceans requires that citizens, political and civic leaders, educators and industry representatives across America work together to implement solutions recommended by the Pew Oceans Commission.”
Oceana is a non-profit international advocacy organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the world's oceans through policy advocacy, science, law and public education. Founded in 2001, Oceana's constituency includes members and activists from more than 150 countries and territories who are committed to saving the world’s marine environment. Oceana, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has additional offices in key U.S. coastal areas, a South American office in Santiago, Chile, and will open a European office in fall of 2003. For more information, please visit www.Oceana.org.