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.

September, 2016

Forage Fish in Oregon Win Significant Protections

After campaigning by Oceana and its allies, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a forage fish management plan for hundreds of small, schooling fish in state waters (0-3 miles from shore). This management plan mirrors action taken in 2015 by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to protect forage fish from new commercial development and builds on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s regulations to protect forage fish in federal waters off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California (from 3-200 nautical miles). Forage fish are critical to healthy marine food webs and are threatened by overfishing due to increasing demand for fishmeal. These new measures will help ensure no new commercial fisheries for these small fish will be developed without careful consideration and science-based management.          

August, 2016

Chilean Government Officially Decrees the Creation of the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park

The official designation of the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park comes after years of campaigning by Oceana and its allies. In 2013, a joint Oceana and National Geographic expedition to the Desventuradas Islands uncovered extraordinary levels of biodiversity in the previously unknown seas surrounding these islands. Following the expedition, Oceana released a report on the findings and a proposal for the regions protection. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced the intention to create a fully-protected marine park – the largest in the Americas – at the 2015 Our Ocean conference in Valparaiso, Chile.

July, 2016

Government Finalizes Safety and Prevention Rules for Arctic Ocean Exploration Drilling

After advocacy from Oceana and its allies, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) finalized rules to improve spill prevention and response requirements for oil and gas exploration drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. The new rules apply to companies conducting new offshore oil exploration in the remote region and require companies to have a backup rig and emergency response equipment nearby in the event of a spill or accident.  They also necessitate that oil companies be able to monitor and quickly respond to dangerous Arctic weather conditions such as sea ice and storms. The Arctic rules are the result of the agencies’ work to address the lessons learned after Shell’s failed 2012 drilling efforts in the Arctic Ocean and BP’s failure to contain the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Oceana supports the implementation of these critical and overdue rules and encourages the government to use them as a starting point for greater reform of the regulations governing offshore oil and gas planning, leasing and exploration.

June, 2016

Deep-Sea Trawling Ban Protects 4.9 Million Square Kilometers 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 country's salmon industry. 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.

June, 2016

Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area Closed to Drift Gillnets to Protect Sea Turtles

On May 19, Oceana and its partners requested NOAA Fisheries meet its legal responsibility to close Southern California waters from swordfish drift gillnets to protect endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Unusually warm ocean waters – triggered by El Niño conditions – have brought young loggerhead sea turtles into southern California waters to feast on small, pelagic red crabs. Once the sea turtles arrive off the California coast, they risk drowning from entanglement in mile-long nets. NOAA Fisheries closed the Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area on June 1 as requested.

June, 2016

Court of Appeals Orders Sernapesca to Provide Information about Antibiotics Used in the Salmon Farming Industry in Chile

In response to an Oceana filing, the Court of Appeals of Santiago ordered the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service of Chile (Sernapesca) to publish information, disaggregated by company, concerning the use of antibiotics in Chilean salmon farming. Oceana filed a claim for the public disclosure of information after 37 companies and Sernapesca refused to disclose antibiotics data on the grounds of “competitive and business risk.” In compliance with the court order, Sernapesca released a report on company’s use of antibiotics in the salmon farming industry throughout 2015. Although additional information and statistics are needed to thoroughly analyze and assess industry operation, the report’s release sets an important precedent for access to public information.  Citizens and stakeholders can use this information to demand more responsible management and aquaculture practices.

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.

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