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.

October, 2019

Mexico Provides Public Access to Vessel Tracking Data for Commercial Fishing Fleet for First Time

The Government of Mexico provided access to satellite monitoring data from 2012 to 2018 for more than 2,000 commercial fishing vessels on the Global Fishing Watch (GFW) platform. The government’s action comes as a result of Oceana’s campaign to increase transparency in Mexican waters and follows a ruling from the National Institute for Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data that determined that the information was of public interest and should be made available. Oceana will continue to campaign to secure a more real time provision of this data as has been done in Peru and Indonesia.

September, 2019

U.S. Approves New Sustainable Fishing Gear to Provide Alternative to “Walls Of Death” off the U.S. West Coast

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has legally authorized deep-set buoy gear—an innovative fishing gear designed to successfully and sustainability catch swordfish off the U.S. West Coast. Unlike drift gillnets, which are a highly indiscriminate and wasteful fishing practice often used to catch swordfish, deep-set buoy gear will avoid deadly harm to marine mammals and sea turtles. This victory follows more than eight years of advocacy from Oceana in support of deep-set buoy gear, which has proven to be a better environmental and financial alternative. 

July, 2019

Canada Bans Shark Fin Trade, First of G20 Countries

Canada, following a significant grassroots effort by Oceana, became the first G20 country to ban the trade of shark fins in its borders. The practice of shark finning has been illegal in Canadian waters for years; however, Canada was the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia. Oceana’s campaign generated more than 300,000 petition signatures and thousands of emails and phone calls to members of Parliament calling on them to protect sharks. This ban is part of Canada’s new Fisheries Act.

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 Prohibits 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 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.