Victories | Oceana Europe
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Since 2003, Oceana has achieved dozens of concrete policy victories for marine life and habitats in Europe. 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.

June, 2009

Spain will protect marine habitats

In honor of World Environment Day on June 5th and to implement the European Union’s commitment with the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Spanish government announced the creation of ten new Marine Protected Areas in Spain’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Oceana has played a key role in identifying and proposing protections for marine areas of interest in an effort led by the Spanish government to implement the European Union’s biodiversity goals.

June, 2009

Spain saving sharks

Spain’s Ministry of Environment and Fisheries Council committed to regulations prohibiting catches of thresher and hammerhead sharks - just two of the many shark species throughout European waters that are endangered. Following defeat of this same proposal through the international ICCAT (link9) process in late 2008, the Spanish government promised Oceana it would pursue these prohibitions through domestic legislation.

March, 2009

Ending excessive antibiotic use in Chilean salmon farms

After campaigning by Oceana, the Chilean government committed to ending the excessive use of antibiotics in salmon farms. This will stop the overuse of antibiotics created for human health, end the overpopulation of salmon pens, lessen the amount of waste and salmon released into the marine environment and slow down the expansion of the industry fjords of Patagonia.

March, 2009

U.S. House protects sharks

After campaigning by Oceana, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shark Conservation Act of 2009, which improves existing laws to prevent shark finning by requiring that sharks be landed with their fins still naturally attached in all U.S. waters.

February, 2009

Protecting the Arctic from industrial fishing

After years of work by Oceana and other conservation groups, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously to prevent the expansion of industrial fishing into all U.S. waters north of the Bering Strait in order to limit stress on ocean ecosystems in light of the dramatic impacts of global climate change in the Arctic. The decision is one of the largest precautionary measures in fisheries management history. Oceana has now protected more than one million square miles of ocean in the Pacific.

February, 2009

The European Commission released the Community Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks

Many of Europe’s shark and related ray populations have been depleted in the past 30 years, primarily due to fisheries overexploitation by large European shark fishing fleets. The Plan of Action does include some positive aspects, including a shark discard ban and a requirement to land shark fins and bodies at the same time and in the same port.

February, 2009

The European Court of Justice formally ruled against France for its failure to control the illegal use by its fleet of driftnets in the Mediterranean.

The Court also formally denied France’s request to consider future exemptions for its fleet from the EU driftnet ban.  In Italy, the Calabrian prosecutor formally charged several driftnetters for illegal activities and has since kept them ashore under house arrest. 

January, 2009

Future transboundary French-Spanish MPA

The Spanish Ministry of Enviroment and Rural and Marine Affairs start cooperating with France to declare a cross-border marine protected area at Creus Cap waters together with the Marine Protected Park existent at French waters. Oceana has studied this marine area and has provided to the Spanish Government this scientific information to ask for this protection.

January, 2009

Protecting sea turtles from longlines

After months of pressure from Oceana and other groups, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council initiated a six-month emergency rule prohibiting longline fishing gear in waters where sea turtles forage, effective as soon as possible. According to recent government data, nearly 1,000 sea turtles were caught by bottom longlines in this fishery in just 18 months, eight times the federally authorized limit. The U.S. government has determined that every species of sea turtle in the United States is threatened or endangered by extinction.

January, 2009

Saving hammerhead, thresher, blue and shortfin mako sharks

The Spanish government, after 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 fishing and exporting countries in the world.