What We Do - Oceana


Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation.

Our Mission

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

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 turtle, whales, and sharks. That’s where Oceana comes in. We win science-based policies in important coastal countries that rebuild abundant and biodiverse oceans.

With more than 275 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.

Oceana was founded in 2001 by a group of leading foundations — The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), Sandler Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund — 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.

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.

Our Solution

Oceana was created to identify practical solutions and make them happen. The good news is that we can restore the oceans to their former glory. Oceana is…


We channel our resources towards strategic, directed campaigns to achieve MEASURABLE OUTCOMES that will protect and restore our oceans to former levels of abundance.



We believe in the importance of science in identifying problems and solutions for the oceans.


Multi-disciplinary and expert

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


The Perfect Protein

The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World

Oceana believes that wild seafood, when properly managed, can provide a delicious, nutritious, and renewable source of protein for millions of people.

Andy Sharpless, CEO of Oceana, together with his co-author, Suzannah Evans, reveals how eating more seafood is not only good for our health but can also help to save the planet. He explains how wild fish really are the perfect protein.

So can we be stewards of our oceans? Do we have the practical conditions we need to actually do this for our oceans? If the oceans are legal high seas in which no one is in charge, how can we possibly hope to implement ocean stewardship?