Victories | Oceana

Victories

Since 2001, Oceana has achieved dozens of concrete policy victories for marine life and habitats. From stopping bottom trawling in sensitive habitat areas to protecting sea turtles from commercial fishing gear, our victories represent a new hope for the world's oceans.

June, 2017

Legal Reform Makes EU’s External Fishing Fleet More Transparent, Accountable and Sustainable

The European Commission, Parliament and Council of Fisheries Ministers announced a new regulation governing the European Union’s extensive external fishing fleet. One third of total European catches are made on the high seas and in the waters of non EU countries. Since 2008, the EU has authorized over 23,000 vessels to fish outside EU waters. The new law applies the same strict requirements to all EU vessels fishing in the waters of other nations, promoting responsible fishing around the world. The new rules also make it public for the first time which vessels fish where, including private agreements, where an EU-flagged vessel makes a direct contract with the government of a non-EU coastal state to fish in its waters. Finally, the new regulation stops so-called abusive reflagging, where a vessel repeatedly and rapidly changes its flag for the purposes of circumventing conservation measures. In total, the new law makes the EU external fleet one of the most transparent in the world. Oceana led a two-year campaign pushing for these new measures.

June, 2017

Peru to Publish Vessel Tracking Data through Global Fishing Watch to Help Fight Illegal Fishing

The Peruvian government made a public commitment to make its national vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch. This means data for all of Peru’s fisheries will be made public, including for the country’s famous anchoveta fishery which has historically been the world’s largest fishery by weight. This decision will make Peru’s enormous and important fisheries transparent and accountable to governments, fishery managers, seafood suppliers and buyers, journalists, researchers, nonprofit organizations and citizens around the world and assist in the responsible management of these ocean resources. The commitment, which was announced at The Ocean Conference hosted by the United Nations in New York City, was the result of Oceana's collaboration with the Peruvian government to increase transparency of commercial fishing in Peru's waters.

April, 2017

California Moves to Protect Hundreds of Forage Fish Species in State Waters

The state of California safeguarded hundreds of species of forage fish, the ocean’s smallest schooling fish, from new and directed fisheries in all ocean waters of the state unless and until it can be demonstrated these tiny but critical fish and invertebrates [or say fish, squids, and krill] can be caught without causing harm to the ecosystem and disrupting the ocean food web. With this decision, protections are now in place prohibiting directed fishing for these forage species in all U.S. ocean waters on the West Coast from shore out to 200 nautical miles. Along with Oceana’s previous victory prohibiting a West Coast fishery for krill, now roughly 70 percent of the total weight of forage species in ocean waters off the West Coast is now protected from directed fishing. Forage fish support an array of wildlife, including sea lions, whales, dolphins, birds, and even bears and wolves, in addition to important species of recreational and commercial fish like tuna, salmon, swordfish, halibut, and rockfish. These landmark protections are the result of over a decade of campaigning by Oceana and its allies which include conservation groups, businesses, fishermen and policymakers. 

April, 2017

U.S. Takes Action to Protect West Coast Sardines from Overfishing for Third Consecutive Year

The Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to keep the U.S. West Coast Pacific sardine fishery closed for the upcoming commercial season. This was because scientists estimated the sardine population in the water to be 86,586 metric tons and that there needed to be a population size equivalent to at least 150,000 metric tons necessary in order to support a commercial fishery. This was the third year in a row where the commercial fishery was closed because of low sardine populations. Three years earlier, after the crash of the sardine population, Oceana led the fight and secured an emergency closure of the fishery, and the fishery has not opened since. Ensuring that there are enough sardines in the water for fishing also ensures that there are enough sardines remaining in the sea to feed and support wildlife that depends on them for survival, including brown pelicans, humpback whales, and sea lions. These decisions will also strengthen and speed up the rebuilding of sardine populations as ocean conditions become more favorable which, at greater abundance, have the potential to provide healthy seafood meals for many people as well.

March, 2017

New Pact Commits Nations to Rebuilding a Healthy Mediterranean Sea

Ministers and high-level representatives from Mediterranean countries signed a historic declaration to address the fisheries crisis in the region. The ministerial declaration, Malta MedFish4Ever, will be the blueprint for cooperation and the sustainable development of fisheries for all coastal states in the Mediterranean over the next 10 years. For years, Oceana has campaigned for catch limits, better enforcement and habitat protections in order to rebuild depleted Mediterranean fish stocks. A recent study commissioned by Oceana revealed that Mediterranean catches could increase by 200 percent in some areas if managed effectively. The MedFish4Ever agreement is a critical political commitment to rebuilding Mediterranean fisheries.  

March, 2017

Key Chilean Environmental Assessment Commission Rejects Massive Coastal Port and Mining Project near Marine Reserves

The Environmental Assessment Commission (EAC) of Coquimbo in Chile rejected plans to build the Dominga Port-Mining project in Chile’s La Higuera region. The project included two open pit mines for the extraction of iron ore and copper, a port, a desalination plant and a tailing basin located in close proximity to the marine reserves of Choros Damas Islands and Chañaral Island. The project was also close to the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve, which is home to 80 percent of the world’s Humboldt Penguins and to a wide variety of other marine life, including blue whales. Oceana has campaigned for over a decade to protect the penguins, sealife and vulnerable ecosystems of La Higuera, including blocking the construction of a thermoelectric plant in 2010. Through the most recent “Salvemos La Higuera” (Save La Higuera) campaign, Oceana brought together community members, local businesses and organizations to successfully oppose the port-mining construction that would threaten local marine life and fishing.

February, 2017

Philippines’ Protected Area Management Body Adopts Vessel Monitoring Requirement in the Tañon Strait to Combat Illegal Fishing

Vessel monitoring, a key measure for effective law enforcement, will be required for all commercial fishing vessels entering the Tañon Strait. One of the Philippines' largest marine protected areas, the Tañon Strait is the country’s very first protected seascape to require vessel monitoring for all transiting commercial fishing vessels. A 161-kilometer strip which connects the Visayan and Bohol Seas, the Tañon Strait lies between the islands of Cebu and Negros and hosts 63 percent of the country’s coral species, plus 14 out of the country's 26 species of whales and dolphins. It is a rich fishing ground for artisanal fishers who live along its coast but is faced with pressures such as illegal commercial fishing, pollution and unplanned coastal development projects. Oceana campaigns for responsible fisheries management throughout the Philippines and is a key force in driving protection and better management for the Tañon Strait and other municipal waters.

January, 2017

President Obama Protects Fish, Whales and More from Dangerous Seismic Airgun Blasting in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean

The Obama administration formally denied all pending permits to conduct seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. Seismic airgun blasting, an extremely loud and dangerous process used to search for potential oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface, was originally proposed in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida. Oceana helped mobilize more than 120 East Coast municipalities, over 1,200 elected officials and an alliance representing over 35,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families in publicly opposing offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting. These individuals and groups became involved to protect the area’s nearly 1.4 million jobs and more than $95 billion in gross domestic product from dirty offshore drilling activities. Oceana will continue to advocate for the United States’ transition away from expanded offshore drilling and toward a cleaner energy economy, including the development of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind.

December, 2016

President Obama Permanently Protects Important Areas of Atlantic Ocean from Offshore Drilling

The Obama administration moved to permanently protect important areas of the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling. Using his authority under section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, President Obama is withdrawing 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean from future mineral extraction, protecting 31 canyons that extend from Heezen Canyon offshore New England to Norfolk Canyon offshore of the Chesapeake Bay. This announcement follows several recent historic moves by the Obama administration to decrease America’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels, including the removal of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans from the five-year program (from 2017-2022) for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Over the last two years, Oceana has supported a powerful grassroots movement against offshore drilling activities in the Atlantic Ocean. As of today, more than 120 East Coast municipalities, over 1,200 elected officials, and an alliance representing over 35,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families have publicly opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting.

December, 2016

Brazil’s ‘Red List’ Reinstated to Protect 475 Endangered Aquatic Species

Oceana successfully pushed for the reinstatement of Brazil’s “Red List,” which ensures the protection of 475 species. After months of suspension, Oceana’s efforts led directly to the judicial decision that reestablished the Red List. The species protected under the list include sharks, rays, groupers and other marine and freshwater fish. Oceana will continue to campaign for scientific consultations to assess the state of the species on the list and the enforcement of the protective regulations.

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