Oceana Expands Campaigns in the United Kingdom

Press Release Date: March 8, 2022

Location: London


Emily Fairless, Communications Officer | email: efairless@oceana.org | tel.: +32 478 038 490

Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation organisation, is expanding its campaigns to protect and restore waters in the United Kingdom (UK).

More than 90% of the world’s ocean productivity is under the direct control of 29 countries and the EU. Post-Brexit, the UK exclusive economic zone is ranked among the top 15 fishing areas in the world, with roughly 1.5 million tonnes of fish caught in its waters every year. Yet only 37% of the UK’s stocks are considered healthy. Moving forward, the UK must develop its own strong fisheries policies to end overfishing and manage marine protected areas.

 “Thanks to a GBP 2.75 million grant ($3.75 million) from the Becht Family Charitable Trust (BFCT), Oceana can expand its campaigns to end overfishing and restore its marine ecosystems. Too many fish stocks are overfished and important marine habitats are without effective protection. Cooperation with the EU is also essential, as they share over 70 fish stocks with the UK. Oceana campaigns will tackle the UK’s urgent need for more effective policies and management,” said Melissa Moore, Oceana’s senior policy advisor in the UK.

Oceana’s expanded campaigns will work to achieve effective marine protection. Marine protected areas (MPAs) protect important habitat and allow fish and marine life to restore their populations. This often creates a spillover effect, which can lead to bigger catches in neighbouring areas outside of the MPA. Oceana will also work to ban bottom towed fishing gear and restore the abundance of fish stocks. Over the last five years, Oceana has secured a commitment from Government to protect its offshore marine protected areas from bottom towed fishing gear by 2024, conducted expeditions to research marine ecosystems in England and Scotland, and launched the UK’s first-ever Fisheries Audit to document the health of UK fish stocks and the importance of responsible fisheries management.

Mastak Pal Kaur, BFCT’s Programme Director said “BFCT’s purpose is to protect and restore marine biodiversity. Well protected Marine protected areas (MPAs) and fishing in line with sustainable, science-based quotas can help restore the health of UK’s marine biodiversity. We are pleased to support Oceana towards improving UK MPAs and rebuilding abundance of fish stocks.

# # #


About Oceana

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organisation dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.oceana.org to learn more.

About the Becht Family Charitable Trust (BFCT)

BFCT is a UK-based funder in the marine space. BFCT’s purpose is to protect and restore our planet’s biodiversity through marine conservation. The ocean space is chronically underfunded, but at the same time ocean-based ecosystems have an ability to recover much faster than land-based ecosystems, making oceans an untapped source of resilience against biodiversity loss and climate change. BFCT focusses on three key areas: (i) Highly or fully protected marine protected areas, (ii) Fighting overfishing and destructive fishing, and (iii) Coastal and marine ecosystems. Find out more on bfct.org or contact us here.