What Does Oceana Do | Oceana


What does Oceana do? Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation.

Oceana’s Mission

Oceana is campaigning around the globe to protect and restore the world’s oceans.

What Does Oceana Do?

The oceans connect us all. They cover two-thirds of our blue planet and contain most of the life on Earth. They are as important to us as they are vast.  

But the oceans face many threats — from overfishing, habitat destruction, oil and plastic pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles, whales, and sharks. What does Oceana do? We win science-based policies in important coastal countries that rebuild abundant and biodiverse oceans.  

With more than 300 victories, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results.  

A restored, healthy, and abundant ocean can help fight climate change, sustain livelihoods, and feed more than 1 billion people a healthy seafood meal every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world.  

Our History

Oceana was founded in 2001 as an international organization focused solely on ocean conservation.

After a 1999 study discovered that less than 0.5% of all resources spent by environmental nonprofit groups in the United States went to ocean advocacy, a group of leading foundations — The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), Sandler Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund — banded together.

To fill the gap, they created Oceana: an international organization focused solely on oceans, dedicated to achieving specific, time-bound policy victories that help protect and restore the world’s oceans. 

The Ocean Law Project — also initiated by The Pew Charitable Trusts — was absorbed into Oceana in 2001. In 2002, Oceana merged with American Oceans Campaign, founded by actor and environmentalist Ted Danson, to more effectively address our shared mission of protecting and restoring the world’s oceans. 

Since its founding, Oceana has expanded its campaigns to nine coastal countries and the European Union and protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean.  

How We Work

How we work reflects Oceana’s mission statement: to campaign around the globe to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Oceana identifies practical solutions that will help our oceans and we make them a reality. We are:  


We create strategic campaigns that make measurable progress to protect and restore our oceans. Our campaigns are specific, targeted, and designed to be won in a three- to five-year timeframe. 

Learn more about our campaigns 


We rely on scientific research to help us understand the ocean’s problems and identify practical, effective solutions. We conduct research on many issues that affect the oceans and marine life. This research helps inform our policy campaigns.

Read our scientific reports 


We get on the water with scientists, divers, photographers, campaigners, and artisanal fisher allies to bring important marine places to life and help make a stronger case for their protection. Oceana’s expeditions have powered our campaigns and resulted in victories across the globe.  

Explore our expeditions 


Our scientists work closely with our teams of economists, lawyers, communicators, and advocates to achieve tangible results for the oceans. 

Meet our staff  

Supported by Citizens and Allies

Oceana has over 8.2 million supporters, including 1.5 million Wavemakers, who help us contact decision-makers, spread the word, and make real change happen.  

Become a Wavemaker  

Follow us on social media @Oceana 


We’ve already protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea life – but there is still more to be done. Donate today to turn the tide for our oceans!


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