Victories | Oceana


Since 2001, Oceana has achieved hundreds 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.

July, 2019

Grassroots effort leads to Shark fin trade ban in Canada, first in G20 countries

Canada, following a significant grassroots effort by Oceana, became the first G20 country to ban the trade of shark fins in its borders. The practice of shark finning has been illegal in Canadian waters for years; however, Canada was the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia. Oceana’s campaign generated more than 300,000 petition signatures and thousands of emails and phone calls to Members of Parliament calling on them to protect sharks. This ban is part of Canada’s new Fisheries Act which passed into law on June 18, 2019.

June, 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 ocean fisheries. The new law puts Canada on the path to restoring its oceans to abundance.

May, 2019

Chile Publishes Vessel Tracking Data for Fishing Fleet through Global Fishing Watch

The Chilean government signed an agreement to make its vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch. This means that 700 fishing vessels and more than 800 vessels serving Chile’s aquaculture industry will be visible on Global Fishing Watch’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 (or SERNAPESCA) and GFW, demonstrates Chile’s commitment to greater transparency in fishing and is the result of Oceana’s collaboration with the Chilean government to increase transparency of commercial fishing in Chilean waters. 

April, 2019

New York Prohibits Offshore Drilling in State Waters

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to prohibit the exploration, development and production of offshore oil and gas in New York waters. The law also prohibits any infrastructure to support drilling off New York’s coast, and prevents the state’s agencies from taking regulatory actions to facilitate oil and gas production in federal waters.

April, 2019

Canadian Government Bans Industrial Activity in Marine Protected Areas

Canada has adopted new standards that ban industrial activities such as oil and gas, waste dumping, mining and destructive bottom-contact fishing activity in newly created MPAs, bringing Canada in line with international best practices. In the past few years, Canada has been protecting more of its ocean, but within these areas, industrial activities, including oil and gas, were still permitted. The new standards help protect fragile habitats that provide nursery, spawning and feeding areas for marine wildlife from harmful practices.

March, 2019

Oceana Wins Lawsuit to Protect Overfished Dusky Sharks

A federal judge ruled that the federal government has to do more to end the rampant overfishing that has plagued dusky sharks. The ruling, in response to an Oceana lawsuit filed by Earthjustice, found that the government failed to use all available scientific evidence. Dusky shark populations off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts have plummeted by at least 65 percent in the past two decades as a result of bycatch – the capture of non-target fish and ocean wildlife. Dusky sharks can live as long as a half a century and are greatly impacted by overfishing as they grow and reproduce slowly.

March, 2019

Canada Creates Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area

The Government of Canada established a 1,000 square kilometer Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence called the Banc-des-Américains. This new MPA protects one of Canada’s most diverse and productive marine areas.  In 2017, Oceana Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada partnered to conduct an expedition in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including the Banc-des-Américains. This expedition and subsequent campaigning resulted in a victory for ocean protection. The MPA conserves habitat important for many species, including habitat-forming corals and sponges, forage fishes like capelin and herring and commercially important species, such as crab and shrimp and the iconic and highly endangered North Atlantic right whale.

February, 2019

Spanish government creates the second-largest marine national park in the Mediterranean, Cabrera National Park

After more than a decade of campaign work by Oceana and our allies, including six research expeditions made possible by numerous supporters, the Spanish government increased the size of Cabrera National Park from 100 to 900 square kilometers. This increase makes Cabrera – one of the richest and most biodiverse places in the Mediterranean and Spanish Coast – the second largest marine national park in the Mediterranean and the first one to protect deep-sea corals.

January, 2019

Chile releases VMS data, increases transparency and accountability, limits illegal fishing

After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, Chile passed a new law to fight illegal fishing. Under the new law, Sernapesca’s 1,000-person staff will gain 250 new members. The law also 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 has advocated for the modernization law for the past three years, and introduced one of its key components: mandating that the government make fishing vessels’ satellite monitoring data publicly accessible.

December, 2018

The Philippines ends bottom trawling in all municipal waters, protects 276,000 square kilometers of ocean

In the Philippines, following Oceana’s campaign, the government closed a loophole and effectively ended bottom trawling in all its municipal waters (critical sources of seafood and sustenance for many Filipinos). The area protected is roughly equivalent to the size of the entire country (the land mass of the Philippines is 300,000 square kilometers). 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.