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.

April, 2009

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.


March, 2009

Condemning Driftnetting in France and Italy

The European Court of Justice condemned France for using illegal driftnets to catch bluefin tuna. Later in March, three owners of illegal driftnetting vessels in southern Italy were arrested after Oceana provided authorities with a variety of documentation and reported more than 150 vessels using this illegal fishing gear.

March, 2009

Shark Finning Ban Improvements Passed

Oceana, along with other conservation organizations, helped advance legislation that would establish a national requirement to land sharks with fins attached. In March 2009, after significant advocacy by Oceana, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 81) to improve existing laws originally intended to prevent shark finning. The bill requires sharks to be landed with their fins naturally attached, which allows for better enforcement and data collection for use in stock assessments and quota monitoring.

March, 2009

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.


March, 2009

Expanding the MPA in Cabrera

After Oceana released a report about Cabrera, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, the Balearic government used it as the scientific basis to expand the MPA in the region.


February, 2009

U.S. Protects America’s Arctic from Industrial Fishing

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) voted to prevent the expansion of industrial fishing into all U.S. waters north of the Bering Strait for the foreseeable future to limit stress on ocean ecosystems in light of the dramatic impacts of global climate change in the Arctic. With no large-scale commercial fishing in the U.S. Arctic at present, this decision establishes one of the largest preventative and precautionary measures in fisheries management history.


January, 2009

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.

January, 2009

Spain Commits to Advance Shark Legislation

The Spanish government, after campaigning and consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks and evaluate the viability of landing sharks whole with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark catching and exporting countries in the world.

January, 2009

Dr. Lark Agrees to Stop Selling Shark Squalane

After more than a year of pressure from Oceana, Dr. Susan Lark, an online wellness personality who markets health and beauty products, announced that she will sell cosmetic products containing squalane derived from olives rather than deep-sea sharks. More than 15,000 Wavemakers contacted Lark, telling her it was unconscionable to sacrifice already at-risk shark populations for the sake of beauty.

December, 2008

Pollock Catch Levels Reduced to Protect Aleutian Islands Ecosystem

Fishery managers reduced the catch level for the Bering Sea pollock fishery, the largest fishery in North America, by 18 percent to around 815,000 metric tons for the 2009 season. The new limit was put in place due to declining pollock numbers, and a recognition of the importance of pollock to the ecosystems of the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea.  Pollock are a central food source for endangered Steller sea lions, salmon, fur seals, halibut, seabirds and other animals.