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, 2016

Deep-Sea Trawling Ban Protects 4.9 million km2 in European Oceans

Oceana in Europe campaigned with our colleagues in the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition for the prohibition of deep sea bottom trawling in the North East Atlantic waters. This victory provides increased protection for vulnerable marine ecosystems and deep-sea sharks. The European Parliament, Council and Commission reached an agreement that bans all trawling below 800m depth and that stops bottom fishing activity below 400m if the presence of vulnerable marine ecosystems is demonstrated. These actions protect 4.9 million km2 – an area larger than the EU itself.

June, 2016

Brazil Reestablishes Red List of Endangered Marine Species

Following pressure from Oceana, Brazil’s Federal Court has issued a ruling reestablishing the Red List of aquatic endangered invertebrates and fishes. The Brazilian wildlife Red Lists were the result of six years of careful work by more than 1,500 experts, using the best science available and the methodology developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The Red List had been suspended due to a lawsuit filed by entities linked to the industrial fishing sector, leaving hundreds of species including whale sharks, rays, sea horses, hammerhead sharks and groupers with no protections. Judge Liviane Kelly Soares Vasconcelos of the 9th Federal Court of the Federal District ruled in favor of re-instating the Red List, protecting 475 endangered species and noting that economic interests of the fishing industry cannot prevail over the public interest of conservation.

June, 2016

Chile Announces Density Reduction Plan for Salmon Industry

The Chilean government, after campaigning by Oceana, announced a density reduction plan for the salmon industry in that country. Salmon pens with high density – large numbers of fish in a small space --- have been subject to the rapid spread of diseases and parasites. Salmon farming areas with poor sanitary measures and a high prevalence of diseases in the past year will have to reduce their density by half. It is estimated that with effective implementation of this plan, total density will be reduced by one third by the end of 2016, improving sanitary conditions and reducing the risk of disease outbreaks. Oceana has been advocating for the reduction of antibiotics and calling for density reduction and improved sanitary conditions in the industry. Oceana was invited to present before the Commission of Environment in the Chilean Senate regarding malpractice in salmon aquaculture, focusing on high antibiotic use.

June, 2016

Oceana Wins Habitat Protections in the Strait of Sicily

Following campaigning by Oceana, three Fisheries Restricted Areas were created by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) in the Strait of Sicily, protecting 1,493 square km between Italy, Malta and Tunisia from bottom trawling and preserving nursery areas for hake and deep-sea rose shrimp. The commission also prohibited commercial harvest of red coral. These decisions will help protect vulnerable habitats and allow fisheries in these important Mediterranean marine ecosystems to recover.

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. 

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