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.

December, 2016

Government Proposes New Federal Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Devices in Skimmer, Pusher-Head and Wing Net Shrimp Trawls

The Obama administration released a proposed rule to require Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) – metal grates inserted into shrimp nets that allow sea turtles and other ocean wildlife to escape – in U.S. skimmer, pusher-head and wing net shrimp trawls, which would save as many as 2,500 endangered and threatened sea turtles every year. In May, Oceana released a report calling on the Obama administration to implement a “simple solution” to ensure domestic, wild-caught shrimp are more sustainably caught. On World Sea Turtle Day on June 16, Oceana, One More Generation and local children delivered more than 12,500 letters and drawings from kids across the country to the White House urging President Obama and Secretary Penny Pritzker to save threatened and endangered sea turtles in U.S. waters.

December, 2016

Executive Order to create the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area in Alaska

President Obama issued an Executive Order creating the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area in Alaska. The order recognizes the importance of the region, increases local participation in management decisions, and helps protect the region from potential impacts associated with industrial activities like shipping, industrial fishing, and oil and gas leasing. Kawerak, Inc., the Bering Sea Elders Group and the Association of Village Council Presidents, which together represent more than 70 federally recognized tribes in the region, were instrumental in making this action possible. The Northern Bering Sea and Bering Strait region provides important habitat and is a migration corridor for thousands of bowhead and beluga whales, hundreds of thousands of walruses and ice seals and millions of migratory birds. The ocean ecosystem is critical to the food security and culture of the indigenous peoples of the region and is facing dramatic impacts from climate change and other industrial threats. In 2014, Oceana and Kawerak, Inc. published the Bering Strait Marine Life and Subsistence Use Data Synthesis, which brought together the available Indigenous knowledge and Western science on the region. The synthesis and other information about the Northern Bering Strait and Bering Sea region can be found here. This scientific information, along with our advocacy on freezing the footprint on bottom trawling, stopping the expansion of offshore oil and gas activities and protecting the Arctic from increased shipping helped inform President Obama’s action.

December, 2016

Critical Marine Conservation Measures for Sharks and Sea Turtles Approved in Brazil

At the first meeting of the Tuna Fisheries Management Council, Oceana secured the approval of important marine conservation measures. The measures include a fishing ban for all hammerhead shark species in Brazil’s tuna fisheries; the mandatory use of circle hooks in all Brazilian longline fisheries (a requirement that will protect sea turtles and sharks); a rejection of leases that would have allowed Chinese fishing vessels and purse seiners to participate these fisheries; and a formal commitment from the government to develop a management plan for tuna fisheries within six months. Oceana’s presence at the meeting was critical to obtaining the approval of these measures.

December, 2016

Obama Administration Announces Final Rule to Address Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud in United States

The Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing and Seafood Fraud announced a final rule to implement the Seafood Import Monitoring Program to address illegal fishing and seafood fraud in the United States. The final rule will require imported seafood at risk of illegal fishing and seafood fraud to be traced from the fishing boat or farm to the U.S. border, helping to stop illegally caught and mislabeled seafood from entering the United States. Since 2011, Oceana has campaigned to stop seafood fraud and ensure that all seafood sold in the U.S. is safe, legally caught and honestly labeled. President Obama directed agencies to work together to develop a robust plan to address seafood fraud and illegal fishing at Secretary of State John Kerry’s Our Ocean conference in June 2014. 

November, 2016

ICCAT Agrees on First Recovery Plan for Depleted Mediterranean Swordfish

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) agreed on a recovery plan for the severely depleted Mediterranean swordfish. The plan includes a reduction of catches and the adoption of a quota system, enforced by monitoring and control measures to prevent illegal fishing and improve transparency in fishery management and trade. Oceana has been campaigning for over a decade for the implementation of a recovery plan for the overfished Mediterranean swordfish. While Oceana applauds this critical step toward better management, it will continue to campaign for a stronger recovery plan aligned with scientific advice to protect the Mediterranean swordfish.

November, 2016

Peru Bans Landings of Shark Fins

Peru’s Ministry of Production announced new measures banning the landing and transshipment of shark fins and headless or finless shark bodies in the country’s port. This rule aims to curb shark finning, a brutal practice that has been a factor in the decline of sharks worldwide. The measures also ban the use of harpoons to hunt sharks and promote traceability in the shark supply chain. Oceana campaigns around the world for better fisheries management and policies to protect sharks, which are key predators and critical species for maintaining healthy oceans.

November, 2016

Obama Administration Removes Arctic Ocean from Offshore Drilling Plan

The Obama administration protected the Arctic Ocean from offshore drilling. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management removed the Beaufort and Chukchi seas from the newly released final 2017-2022 five-year program for oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf. This announcement follows a similar decision in March where BOEM removed the Atlantic Ocean from the five-year program following widespread opposition along the East Coast. Oceana has been campaigning for 10 years to stop the expansion of oil and gas into the U.S. Arctic. 

October, 2016

The Honourable Minister LeBlanc Announces a Big Step Forward for More Transparent Fisheries Management in Canada

For the first time, the Canadian government has released key information on the status of the country’s fish stocks. The government has also shared the results of an annual Sustainability Survey for Fisheries and invested additional funds to increase the science capacity of the department managing Canadian fisheries. The Honorable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced these changes at Oceana Canada’s symposium, Rebuilding Abundance: Restoring Canada’s Fisheries for Long-Term ProsperityOceana Canada was credited for providing the impetus for releasing this information, after campaigning for increased transparency and public access to Canadian fishery information since it began operations in 2015.

October, 2016

California Moves to Protect Hundreds of Forage Fish Species in State Waters

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is establishing conforming regulations to prohibit new fisheries from developing on seven groups of currently unmanaged forage fish in state waters (0-3 miles). These regulations will mirror those finalized by NOAA in May for federal waters off California, Oregon, and Washington. Action by California is the last piece of the puzzle to achieving protections for hundreds of forage fish species from 0-200 miles off the U.S. West Coast. California state regulations are expected to go into effect early in 2017.

September, 2016

1,400 Square Kilometers in the Balearic Islands Protected from Destructive Fishing

After four years of Oceana’s campaigning for increased protections, Spain announced a ban on bottom trawling and other destructive fishing methods in a 1,400 square kilometer region between Mallorca and Menorca. The Spanish government also expanded the protected area in Fort d’en Moreu, a vibrant reef to the east of Cabrera that has been threatened by illegal trawling activity. The Spanish government’s compliance with EU legislation and action to protect valuable seascapes signifies a critical step towards securing greater protections – important for both habitat preservation and healthy marine ecosystems – in Spanish waters.