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.

May, 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.

April, 2019

New York Protects Coast from Offshore Drilling

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. The Trump administration had proposed plans to open much of the United States’ East Coast to oil and gas exploration and development.

April, 2019

Canadian Government Bans Industrial Activity in Marine Protected Areas

Canada adopted new standards that ban industrial activities such as oil and gas, waste dumping, mining, and destructive bottom-contact fishing activity in newly created marine protected areas (MPAs), bringing Canada in line with international best practices. In the past few years, Canada has been protecting more of its ocean, but within some of 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 Vulnerable Dusky Sharks

A federal judge ruled that the federal government has to do more to reduce the killing of dusky sharks as a result of bycatch – the capture of non-target fish and ocean wildlife. The ruling, in response to an Oceana lawsuit in which we were represented 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% in the past two decades as a result of bycatch. 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. The government used data from the expedition to support protection and management of important habitat, including habitat-forming corals and sponges, forage fishes like capelin and herring, commercially important species like crab and shrimp, and the iconic and highly endangered North Atlantic right whale.

February, 2019

Spain Creates the Second-Largest Marine National Park in the Mediterranean

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 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.

January, 2019

The Philippines Create Science-based Fisheries Management Areas

The Philippines government formally established Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) making Filipino fisheries management science-based, participatory, transparent, and data-driven. The policy regulation directs all coastal, local governments to conserve and sustainably manage shared fishery resources. Oceana was a driving force in the issuance of the regulation. This regulation also comes after an October 2018 Oceana lawsuit.

December, 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.

December, 2018

Peru Passes Law to Ban Plastic Bags and Reduce Plastics Use 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.