Victories | Oceana
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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, 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.

December, 2016

Government Proposes New Federal Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Devices in Skimmer, Pusher-Head and Wing Net Shrimp Trawls

The Obama administration released a proposed rule to require Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) – metal grates inserted into shrimp nets that allow sea turtles and other ocean wildlife to escape – in U.S. skimmer, pusher-head and wing net shrimp trawls, which would save as many as 2,500 endangered and threatened sea turtles every year. In May, Oceana released a report calling on the Obama administration to implement a “simple solution” to ensure domestic, wild-caught shrimp are more sustainably caught. On World Sea Turtle Day on June 16, Oceana, One More Generation and local children delivered more than 12,500 letters and drawings from kids across the country to the White House urging President Obama and Secretary Penny Pritzker to save threatened and endangered sea turtles in U.S. waters.

December, 2016

Executive Order to create the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area in Alaska

President Obama issued an Executive Order creating the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area in Alaska. The order recognizes the importance of the region, increases local participation in management decisions, and helps protect the region from potential impacts associated with industrial activities like shipping, industrial fishing, and oil and gas leasing. Kawerak, Inc., the Bering Sea Elders Group and the Association of Village Council Presidents, which together represent more than 70 federally recognized tribes in the region, were instrumental in making this action possible. The Northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait region provides important habitat and is a migration corridor for thousands of bowhead and beluga whales, hundreds of thousands of walruses and ice seals and millions of migratory birds. The ocean ecosystem is critical to the food security and culture of the indigenous peoples of the region and is facing dramatic impacts from climate change and other industrial threats. In 2014, Oceana and Kawerak, Inc. published the Bering Strait Marine Life and Subsistence Use Data Synthesis, which brought together the available Indigenous knowledge and Western science on the region. The synthesis and other information about the Northern Bering Strait and Bering Sea region can be found here. This scientific information, along with our advocacy on freezing the footprint on bottom trawling, stopping the expansion of offshore oil and gas activities and protecting the Arctic from increased shipping helped inform President Obama’s action.

December, 2016

Critical Marine Conservation Measures for Sharks and Sea Turtles Approved in Brazil

At the first meeting of the Tuna Fisheries Management Council, Oceana secured the approval of important marine conservation measures. The measures include a fishing ban for all hammerhead shark species in Brazil’s tuna fisheries; the mandatory use of circle hooks in all Brazilian longline fisheries (a requirement that will protect sea turtles and sharks); a rejection of leases that would have allowed Chinese fishing vessels and purse seiners to participate these fisheries; and a formal commitment from the government to develop a management plan for tuna fisheries within six months. Oceana’s presence at the meeting was critical to obtaining the approval of these measures.

December, 2016

Obama Administration Announces Final Rule to Address Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud in United States

The Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud announced a final rule to implement the Seafood Import Monitoring Program to address illegal fishing and seafood fraud in the United States. The final rule will require imported seafood at risk of illegal fishing and seafood fraud to be traced from the fishing boat or farm to the U.S. border, helping to stop illegally caught and mislabeled seafood from entering the United States. Since 2011, Oceana has campaigned to stop seafood fraud and ensure that all seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled. President Obama directed agencies to work together to develop a robust plan to address seafood fraud and illegal fishing at Secretary of State John Kerry’s Our Ocean conference in June 2014. 

November, 2016

Peru Bans Landings of Shark Fins

Peru’s Ministry of Production announced new measures banning the landing and transshipment of shark fins and headless or finless shark bodies in the country’s port. This rule aims to curb shark finning, a brutal practice that has been a factor in the decline of sharks worldwide. The measures also ban the use of harpoons to hunt sharks and promote traceability in the shark supply chain. Oceana campaigns around the world for better fisheries management and policies to protect sharks, which are key predators and critical species for maintaining healthy oceans.

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