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.
Sea Turtles Protected from Gulf Longlines
After Oceana’s advocacy work, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) put in place an emergency closure of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to bottom longline fishing gear from the reef fish fishery to protect sea turtles. The closure included all waters shallower than 50 fathoms for a period of six months. NMFS took this action after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted (10-7) to ask them to do so. Oceana was instrumental in pushing both the Agency and the Council to take these actions to protect sea turtles.
Pacific Loggerheads Protected from West Coast Longlines
The federal Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to maintain a standing prohibition on a West Coast-based high seas longline fishery. The vote will prevent the opening of a new swordfish fishery that would threaten migrating loggerhead sea turtles and other marine wildlife on the high seas of the north Pacific Ocean.
Chile Announces Antibiotic Reduction Plan
The government of Chile officially announced a plan for reducing the use of antibiotics in salmon aquaculture, which included four out of five relevant policy recommendations made by Oceana. The plan failed to prohibit the animal use of the quinolone family of antibiotics.
Chile Moves Forward to Reduce Antibiotic Use
After campaigning by Oceana, the Chilean government recommended ending the excessive use of antibiotics in salmon farms. This will stop the overuse of antibiotics created for human health, end the overpopulation of salmon pens, lessen the amount of waste and salmon released into the marine environment and slow down the expansion of the industry to the heretofore pristine fjords of Patagonia.
Increased Funding for Observers
From 2003-2009, Oceana advocated increased funding for observer programs to members of the United States Congress. These efforts helped increase available funding for fishery observers from around 14 million dollars to approximately 32 million dollars.
Aleutian Islands Shipping Safety Measures Move Forward
The federal government has begun implementation of a “risk assessment” for the Aleutian Islands, the critical first step towards getting meaningful spill response capabilities in place for the region. The risk assessment will help policy makers and the Coast Guard in designing and implementing a spill response plan for the Aleutians that includes adequate funding for the complete monitoring of all ship traffic and ensuring necessary training, resources and equipment in place locally for the Aleutians.
Reducing Salmon Bycatch in the Pollock Fishery
The world’s largest fishery took the first step toward reducing wasteful king salmon bycatch. After pressure from Oceana and its allies, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council moved forward on capping salmon bycatch in the Alaska pollock fishery.
Shark Finning Regulations Finalized
In June 2008, Following advocacy from Oceana, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) finalized a regulation requiring the landing of sharks with their fins still attached in the federal waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, also after Oceana’s urging, passed similar regulations in August 2008 for the state waters along the east coast of the United States.
U.S. Government to Review Loggerhead Status
Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of the Interior to uplist the loggerhead sea turtle population in the Atlantic Ocean from “threatened” to “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. In addition, the petition calls on the government to protect key habitat areas by designating them “critical habitats” under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. government announced on March 5, 2008 that our petition was sufficiently well-founded to require a detailed governmental review of the loggerhead sea turtle population in the Atlantic Ocean to decide whether it should be declared “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.
Banning Mediterranean Driftnetting
The European Court of Justice rejected any further requests by the French government for exemptions from the EU ban on driftnetting in the Mediterranean Sea. This ruling will spare 25,000 juvenile bluefin tuna annually, along with 10,000 non-targeted marine species caught annually in the driftnets.