Save the Oceans, Feed the World
Restoring The Oceans Could Feed 1 Billion People A Healthy Seafood Meal Each Day
Oceana campaigns worldwide for policy change that can restore and increase ocean biodiversity and abundance.
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Oceana campaigns in the countries that control about one third of the world’s wild fish catch in order to win policy victories that can increase biodiversity in our oceans and deliver more seafood to the future.
What animal protein requires no fresh water, produces little carbon dioxide, doesn’t require arable land and provides healthy protein at a cost per pound lower than beef, chicken, lamb or pork, making it accessible to the world’s poor? The answer: wild fish.
Unfortunately, studies show that irresponsible fishing has reduced many wild fish populations to historically low levels right at the moment when the world needs its oceans more than ever.
There are already 7 billion people on Earth, and this figure is expected to grow to a staggering 9 billion people by 2050. The planet must produce 70 percent more food to meet the coming hunger needs, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Right now, 795 million people on this planet suffer from hunger, and we don’t have enough arable land and fresh water to feed 2 billion more without incurring severe losses to the natural world.
But there is a solution. Studies show that by implementing better and proven management measures we can potentially increase the global fish catch by up to 15 percent from current levels. We can rebuild ocean biodiversity and abundance and be able to feed a billion people a healthy seafood meal each day.
What Oceana Does
Winning policy change that can increase ocean biodiversity and abundance
Oceana runs campaigns to win policy change proven to increase abundance and biodiversity, such as: stopping overfishing through the establishment of science-based catch limits, reducing bycatch, or the incidental catch of non-targeted animals, and protecting important marine habitat.
Oceana’s Country-by-Country Approach
International action through the United Nations and other global bureaucratic bodies is difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Instead, Oceana focuses on the countries that control the world’s fish catch. Just 29 countries and the EU control more than 90 percent of the world’s seafood catch. Oceana is already campaigning in countries that control about a third of the world’s wild fish catch. Learn more about Oceana’s efforts to Save the Oceans and Feed the World in the United States, Europe, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Philippines.
December 20, 2019
Mexico Provides Public Access to Vessel Tracking Data for Commercial Fishing Fleet for First Time
The Government of Mexico provided access to satellite monitoring data from 2012 to 2018 for more than 2,000 commercial fishing vessels on the Global Fishing Watch (GFW) platform. The government’s action comes as a result of Oceana’s campaign to increase transparency in Mexican waters and follows a ruling from the National Institute for Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data that determined that the information was of public interest and should be made available. Oceana will continue to campaign to secure a more real time provision of this data as has been done in Peru and Indonesia.
June 18, 2019
Canada Passes New Fisheries Act: A Historic Win for Canada’s Oceans
Canada’s new Fisheries Act, passed into law on June 18, 2019, requires, for the first time in Canada’s history, science-based rebuilding of all depleted fish populations. The passage of this modernized law puts Canada on the path to restoring its oceans to abundance.
May 23, 2019
Chile Publishes Vessel Tracking Data for Fishing Fleet, Promoting Transparency at Sea
The Chilean government signed an agreement to make its vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch (GFW). This means that 700 fishing vessels and more than 800 vessels serving Chile’s aquaculture industry will be visible on GFW’s website, which tracks the movements of commercial fishing vessels in near real-time. The agreement, which was made between Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service and GFW, demonstrates Chile’s commitment to greater transparency in fishing and is the result of Oceana’s collaboration with the Chilean government.
January 11, 2019
Chile Passes One of World’s Strongest Laws Against Illegal Fishing
After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, Chile passed a new law to fight illegal fishing. The new law extends criminal liability for illegal fishing to transporters, processors, vendors and other middlemen – where the most money from criminal activity is to be made – while legalizing subsistence and survival fishing. Oceana advocated for modernization of the law for three years and introduced one of its key components: mandating that the government make publicly accessible the fishing vessels tracking data it collects.
December 13, 2018
The Philippines Protects 266,000 Square Kilometers of Ocean from Bottom Trawling
In the Philippines, following Oceana’s campaign, the government banned bottom trawling in all municipal waters. The area protected is roughly equivalent to the landmass of the entire country. Bottom trawlers destroy habitat, which includes ocean nurseries, by dragging heavily weighted nets across the ocean floor in pursuit of fish and leaving behind damage that can last centuries.
September 12, 2018
Brazil Stops Destructive Bottom Trawling in 13,000 Square Kilometers of Ocean That Is Home To Endangered Species
After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, the government of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil’s southernmost state, passed a law to ban existing bottom trawling. These new protections extend along the entire length of the state’s 620-kilometer coast and cover a distance out to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from shore. The ban protects waters that are important to artisanal fishers and home to many endangered species.
May 16, 2018
Brazil Introduces First-Ever Management Rules for Tainha, Begins Science-Based Management of Fisheries
For the first time, the country’s tainha fishery (Brazil’s most important fishery) will be governed by scientific management, including stock assessments and catch limits. When Oceana first arrived, Brazil collected almost no fisheries data and had no catch limits for any ocean fish, leading to overfishing and declining stocks. Oceana successfully brought together government officials, scientists and small-scale and commercial fishers to introduce some much-needed, science-based policymaking into Brazil’s oceans.
July 7, 2017
Chilean Supreme Court Forces Salmon Farming Industry to Disclose Antibiotic Use
After Oceana waged a four-year legal battle, the Chilean Supreme Court ruled that the salmon farming industry in that country must disclose information about its use of antibiotics in aquaculture. Oceana has fought for transparency in the Chilean salmon farming industry, which has used alarming amounts of antibiotics, is a major cause of habitat degradation and poses risks to human health.
May 20, 2015
Amended Fisheries Code Becomes Law in the Philippines
Republic Act 10654, which amends the Philippine Fisheries Code, became law in February 2015 after Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III allowed amendments to the 1998 Philippine Fisheries Code to lapse into law — a deliberate inaction in the Philippines that allows items to become law. Under RA 10654, which cracks down on illegal fishing and helps rebuild fisheries, sanctions have been raised to as high as $45 million (PHP) for commercial fishing violators and $2.4 million (PHP) for poachers. Additionally, the amendments call for the installation of a Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) system on all flagged Philippine fishing vessels that help identify commercial vessels operating illegally in Philippine waters, and call for it to be unlawful to intentionally tamper with, switch off or disable the vessel monitoring system.. By passing these amendments, the Philippines avoided penalties by the European Union for failing to meet its standards on sustainable fishing practices.
February 25, 2014
Chile Establishes Science-based Fishing Quotas
In late December, the Chilean government announced the first set of science-backed quotas for 2014. With guidance from scientific committees, the Chilean government set quotas for four critical species of fish: common hake, anchoveta, sardines, and jack mackerel. The reductions are dramatic—the government reduced the quota for common hake by 55 percent, for anchoveta by 65 percent in specific regions, and for sardines by 29 percent in specific regions. Chile’s first science-informed quotas are a tremendous step toward reforming fisheries and ensuring that the oceans remain a plentiful source of food.
February 6, 2013
Dramatic Reforms for Europe’s Fisheries
The European Parliament approved major reforms to the Common Fishery Policy, a law that manages all European fisheries. Members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a comprehensive reform policy that includes amendments – many of which were drafted by Oceana – that require member states to fish all stocks at sustainable levels by 2015 and comply with a strong EU-wide discard ban, and puts an end to the practice of “discards”, throwing dead unwanted fish back into the sea. Oceana campaigned for years to make sure that this once in a decade opportunity to reform the failed EU fisheries policy was not wasted.
November 27, 2012
Chilean Senate Passes Sweeping Fisheries Measures
The Chilean senate passed sweeping new regulations that establish a more robust, science based fisheries regulatory regimen. The new laws will close all 118 of Chile’s seamounts to bottom trawling, impose science-based fishing quotas and drastically reduce the incidental capture and discard of unwanted species by improving monitoring on Chilean fishing vessels. Oceana has been pushing for all of these changes for years, and during the passage of this historic legislation our work was acknowledged by several senators as well as the Chilean Minister of the Economy.
October 18, 2010
Chile Reduces Jack Mackerel Overfishing
The Chilean government announced a drastic reduction in the fishing quota for jack mackerel and other fisheries, starting in 2011. The decision came after Oceana sent the Minister of Economy a report analyzing the annual quota set for jack mackerel during the past 10 years.
The study, put together with data that Oceana obtained through Chile’s Freedom of Information Act, shows that between 2003 and 2010 the National Fisheries Council set the annual quota for jack mackerel at higher catch limits than was recommended by the Institute for Fisheries Development. In fact, in 2009 the quota was 87 percent higher than what was recommended by the agency.
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