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.

March, 2016

Obama Administration Removes Atlantic Ocean from Offshore Drilling Plan

After years of Oceana campaigning against proposals for offshore drilling along the East Coast, the Obama administration removed the Atlantic Ocean from the five-year program (2017 to 2022) for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf. Along the Atlantic coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product rely on healthy ocean ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation. Oceana built and led a powerful grassroots movement to demonstrate the broad-based and diverse opposition to offshore drilling. As a result, over 110 East Coast municipalities, as well as more than 100 Members of Congress, more than 750 state and local elected officials and approximately 1,100 business interests have publically opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting. Oceana’s organization and mobilization of the people in opposition to offshore drilling led to this major victory for the ocean.

December, 2015

GrubHub Takes Shark Fin Soup Off the Menu

After an online campaign by Oceana and its supporters, GrubHub – the dominant online food ordering company – announced that it would no longer permit restaurants to offer shark fin products through its service. GrubHub’s decision to eliminate shark fin soup from all its menus will help reduce global demand for shark fin products, as the company offers access to menus from more than 35,000 restaurants across 900 cities.

December, 2015

Moratorium and Ban Protects Belizean Marine Resources

The Government of Belize announced its intention to impose a permanent ban on offshore oil exploration along the Belizean barrier reef system and within the country's seven world heritage sites. The Belizean barrier reef is the largest section of the MesoAmerican barrier reef, the biggest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and home to some of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on the planet.

October, 2015

First-Ever Fishing Ban Created for Danish Marine Parks

Thanks to a new regulation by the European Union, Denmark, Germany and Sweden will cease all fishing activity on sensitive bubbling reefs and end fishing with damaging bottom gear (such as bottom trawls) over reefs in protected Danish waters of the Baltic Sea and Kattegat. The new measures are the first of their kind in the Baltic Sea, and were jointly proposed by the three Member States. The regulation covers 10 Natura 2000 protected areas—which are the backbone of marine protected areas in the EU. Oceana has conducted multiple expeditions in the Baltic Sea that exposed the ecological significance of this region, and has campaigned for years for sustainable fishing and habitat protections.

October, 2015

Chile Announces Designation of Largest Marine Park in the Americas

In the fall of 2015, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet announced the creation of the largest marine park in the Americas, Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park. The new park is a no-take zone which extends for 297,518 square kilometers (114,872 square miles), protecting the high level of abundance and biodiversity found in the area surrounding the Desventuradas Islands.  Oceana worked closely with leaders (and fishermen) from the Juan Fernandez Islands, federal government representatives and officials in Chile and with National Geographic to achieve this result. In 2013, Oceana and National Geographic organized a joint expedition to film, photograph and report on the remarkable variety and profusion of sea life in the Desventuradas – including lobsters nearly two feet long and weighing close to 15 pounds.  Based on the findings from the expedition, Oceana and National Geographic created a comprehensive scientific report and a proposal for the large marine park for which Oceana campaigned for over the next two years. The Desventuradas islands are uninhabited except for a Chilean naval base and when fishermen from the Juan Fernández archipelago travel (more than 800 kilometers) to fish for lobsters. The Juan Fernández community supported the proposal and ultimately presented it to the Chilean government.

September, 2015

Shell Abandons Drilling Activity in U.S. Arctic Ocean

Following years of campaigning by Oceana and its allies, Shell Oil announced that it will cease further oil exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean for the foreseeable future. The move comes after a series of failed exploration attempts in the Arctic, costing the company billions of dollars. Shell’s efforts to operate in the remote and unforgiving Arctic in 2012 led to a series of mishaps, fines, government investigations and the grounding of the drill rig Kulluk. This year Shell faced new challenges and was unable to find oil in the prospect where the company drilled. Oceana’s campaigners successfully used law, economics, lobbying, science, and the press to clearly make the case that Shell’s plan was neither economically viable nor environmentally safe. Today’s decision is propelled by more than eight years of campaigning by Oceana and its allies whose work charted new ways to stop one of the largest and most powerful companies on the planet from putting the U.S. Arctic Ocean at risk. This is an enormous victory for the oceans, Oceana and the entire conservation community. 

August, 2015

Chile Bans Salmon Farming in Large Pristine Area in Chilean Patagonia

As a direct result of Oceana’s campaigning, The Chilean Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture withdrew its proposal to establish five salmon farms in Tortel, one of the last free from industrial salmon production. Additionally, salmon farming was permanently excluded from the allowed uses for the future in these pristine fjords. The decision comes as a major victory for the people of Tortel and their waters. The proposal caused widespread concern among national and international environmental organizations, tourism-related groups in the Aysen Region and the local Tortel community itself in fear of damaging pristine ecosystems and impairing the tourism-driven economy. The Chilean government withdrew its proposal after citing salmon farming as being inconsistent with the reliance on tourism in the region. Salmon farms can cause pollution, introduce disease into ecosystems and carry implications for human health, and Oceana has long advocated against them in Chile. Oceana applauds the government’s decision, citing that thAs a direct result of Oceana’s campaigning, The Chilean Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture withdrew its proposal to establish five salmon farms in Tortel, one of the last free from industrial salmon production. Additionally, salmon farming was permanently excluded from the allowed uses for the future in these pristine fjords. The decision comes as a major victory for the people of Tortel and their waters. The proposal caused widespread concern among national and international environmental organizations, tourism-related groups in the Aysen Region and the local Tortel community itself in fear of damaging pristine ecosystems and impairing the tourism-driven economy. The Chilean government withdrew its proposal after citing salmon farming as being inconsistent with the reliance on tourism in the region. Salmon farms can cause pollution, introduce disease into ecosystems and carry implications for human health, and Oceana has long advocated against them in Chile. Oceana applauds the government’s decision, citing that they’ve created a path for sustainable development and upholding the desires’ of local people.

 

 

July, 2015

Louisiana Now Requires TEDs Enforcement on Shrimp Trawl Vessels

Since 1987, Louisiana has remained the only state to not enforce federal regulations requiring that shrimp otter trawl vessels use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs)—openings in nets that allow turtles to escape when accidentally caught. But in July, Louisiana reversed state law with the passage of House Bill 668, allowing Louisiana state officials to enforce TEDs on shrimp otter trawl vessels. The Louisiana shrimp industry supported the bill, with the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, made up of industry stakeholders, officially voting in favor of reversing the 1987 law partly to help improve the conservation rating of their shrimp. Oceana has previously exposed the amount of bycatch in the Southeast Shrimp Trawl Fishery, and has worked for years to get Louisiana on board with federal law. 

June, 2015

Texas Bans Shark Fin Sales

Texas became the 10th state in the U.S. to ban the sale of shark fins after signing a house bill into law. Texas had recently emerged as a hub for shark fins, with the state’s fin trade growing by 240 percent since 2010. This move also makes Texas the first state in the Gulf region to pass a shark fin sale ban, and follows several fin trade bans in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Washington. Shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, but most states still import and export fins. The shark fin trade is largely responsible for millions of shark deaths per year and is significantly driving their decline. Oceana has campaigned against the shark fin trade for years, and has previously won victories at the state and Federal levels to establish and uphold shark fin bans in other states. 

June, 2015

Construction of Largest Coal-Fired Plant in Chile Stopped

Codelco, the largest copper mining company in the world, canceled it plans to construct Energía Minera, which would have been the largest coal-fired plant in Chile with a capacity of 1,050 megawatts and worth $1.7 billion USD. The company canceled construction in order to avoid conflicts with local communities in the Ventanas area, which is already heavily polluted by three other thermoelectric plants and a copper refinery. Oceana has campaigned against this plant for five years together with allies. With this move, Oceana in Chile achieved its campaign goal of stopping the construction of two coal-fired plants. The other, Punta Alcalde, was cancelled earlier in 2015.

 

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