Victories | Oceana
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Victories

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.

December, 2018

Peru passes law to reduce use of plastics including ban on plastic bags and plastics in protected areas

After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, a new law in Peru will reduce the use of plastics and plastic pollution. Peru’s Congress passed legislation that bans the use of plastic bags and restricts other single-use plastics (including straws). The measures also prohibit the use of plastics in Peru’s beaches, coast and the country’s many protected areas.

October, 2018

California stops use of destructive swordfish drift gillnet fishing, protecting marine mammals, turtles and sharks from bycatch

The California swordfish drift gillnet fishery kills  more dolphins than all observed U.S. West Coast fisheries combined. Thanks to a years-long campaign by Oceana and our allies, a new law will clean up the fishery, phasing out the use of drift gillnets through a buyout transition program and incentivizing the use of cleaner fishing gear.

September, 2018

Brazil stops destructive bottom trawling in waters of Rio Grande do Sul, an area that accounts for 15 percent of all landings in Brazil and is home to 30 percent of red listed endangered species

After campaigning by Oceana and our allies, the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil has approved a law to ban existing bottom trawling in state waters. 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. These measures, which remarkably stop existing bottom trawling, protect waters important to artisanal fishers.

June, 2018

Malta expands habitat protections in the Mediterranean and protects 35 percent of its waters

This announcement is the result of Oceana efforts that began in 2013, and the protections are based on the findings of two Oceana expeditions (2015 and 2016 LIFE BaĦAR Expeditions). Oceana mapped out sandbanks, reefs and more than 89 marine caves through use of a remotely operated vehicle and scuba divers. With these new measures, 35 percent of Malta’s waters are now protected.

May, 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.

May, 2018

The Philippines Protects the Philippine Rise

After campaigning by Oceana and its allies, the Philippines government created a marine protected area, declaring 500 square kilometers of rare underseas coral habitat as a strict protection zone where only scientific research will be permitted, as well as an additional 3,000 square kilometers where active fishing gear will be banned. Oceana’s 2016 expedition documented the stunning biodiversity and abundance in the region, and these new measures will help protect marine life including mesophotic (twilight) coral reefs, whales, dolphins, sharks, rays and sea turtles. The area is also a spawning area for Pacific bluefin tuna, one of the most valuable fish on Earth.

April, 2018

More than 362,000 square kilometers of fragile seafloor habitats protected from destructive bottom trawling off U.S. Pacific coast

In a unanimous vote, the Pacific Fishery Management Council acted to protect more than 362,000 square miles of seafloor (an area equivalent to the size of Germany) from bottom trawling, a destructive fishing practice in which heavy fishing gear is dragged across the seabed. This action will safeguard a unique variety of coral gardens, sponge beds, rocky reefs, and deep-sea ecosystems that provide nurseries, food and shelter for many species — including lingcod, sablefish, flatfish, sharks, rays and more than 60 species of rockfish.

February, 2018

Chile protects Juan Fernández Islands and wildlife found nowhere else on Earth

In a huge victory for Oceana and our allies, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet protected 262,000 square kilometers of ocean surrounding the Juan Fernandez Islands (and area larger than the landmass of the United Kingdom). Oceana worked closely with the local communities and small-scale fishers over several years to win protections for the sea while also preserving their own sustainable lobster and fishing efforts. As a result of the Juan Fernandez announcement and other closures resulting from campaigns by Oceana and its allies, 25 percent of Chile's ocean is now protected as no-take marine parks.

February, 2018

Chile announces protection for the remarkable fjords of Tortel

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet created a protected area encompassing over 6,702 square kilometers around the southern town of Tortel. The proposal to protect Tortel was supported by Oceana over several years, and our five expeditions to the area brought the species hidden below the surface — including Chilean dolphins and colorful sponges and corals — to life. Caleta Tortel is a top destination for visitors to Chile's Patagonia. Now, thanks to these protections, Tortel will be protected from salmon farming and other development that could irreparably damage this unique ecosystem.

January, 2018

Belize bans offshore oil drilling, protecting the largest barrier reef in the Americas

Belize made history when it signed into law a moratorium on offshore oil exploration and drilling in the entirety of Belizean waters, which contain the second largest barrier reef system in the world (and the largest in the Western Hemisphere). This decision was the culmination of over seven years of campaigning by Oceana and its allies, and by the tens of thousands of Belizeans committed to stopping drilling in their barrier reef. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to nearly 1,400 species and is critical to the livelihood of more than half of Belize’s population due to its central role in Belizean tourism and fishing. 

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