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.
January 3, 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.
August 15, 2008
Costco Agrees to Post Warning on mercury in Seafood
Costco Wholesale Corporation committed to warning its customers about mercury contamination in fish by posting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (link11) mercury warning on signs at seafood counters in all its stores. The move, prompted by requests from Oceana and Costco members, followed similar action by other major grocery chains nationwide. Thanks to Oceana’s campaign, more than 36 percent of major U.S. grocery stores now post the FDA warning.
July 15, 2008
Sparing more than 46,5 million hectares of Bering Sea floor from bottom trawling
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that it will adopt Oceana’s “freeze-the-footprint” approach by closing nearly 46,5 million hectares of the Bering Sea to destructive bottom trawling to protect important seafloor habitats and marine life. The area protected is larger than the state of California.
June 15, 2008
Protecting king salmon
The world’s largest fishery, Alaska’s pollock industry, accidentally catches and kills king salmon, an important species both commercially and ecologically. Accidentally killing and catching non-targeted species is known as “bycatch,” and 7 million kg of unwanted and wasted fish are thrown back into the water every year. After pressure from Oceana and its allies, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council moved forward in June on capping salmon bycatch in the pollock fishery.
February 15, 2008
Banning Mediterranean driftnetting
After Oceana showed that some fishing ships continued to use illegal fishing gear, the European Court of Justice rejected further requests by the French government for exemptions from the EU ban on driftnetting in the Mediterranean Sea. This ruling spares 25,000 juvenile bluefin tuna caught annually in the driftnets, along with thousands of other types of marine animals, including whales, dolphins, other marine mammals, seabirds and countless species of fish and sealife.
December 15, 2007
Ending the sale of shark-based squalane
Thousands of Oceana supporters contacted the Vermont Country Story, a leading catalog retailer, to convince it to stop selling a skin enhancer containing squalane. The oil is obtained from the livers of deep-sea sharks threatened by extinction. In an ironic note, the product was marketed under the name “Oceana.”
August 15, 2007
Ending mercury pollution from chlorine plants
When Oceana began its campaign, nine U.S. chlorine plants used outdated mercury-polluting technology. With the conversion of the ERCO Worldwide plant in Port Edwards, Wisconsin, to mercury-free technology, five of the nine mercury-polluting plants have switched to clean technology or shut down after lobbying by Oceana. Mercury is a neurotoxin often found in seafood.
June 15, 2007
Protecting Sea Turtles
Under pressure from Oceana and other conservation groups, the National Marine Fisheries Service denied an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) proposed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which would have allowed the use of drift gillnets in the Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area off the coast of California. Since the closure was established in 2001, not one leatherback has been reported killed in the drift gillnet fishery. Despite this remarkable success, the PFMC approved an EFP that would have reopened the Conservation Area to drift gillnets during the critical months when turtles are foraging off California and Oregon. In denying the permit, NMFS cited a recent scientific study which underscores the importance of nearshore waters off the U.S. west coast as critical foraging habitat for migrating leatherback turtles.
January 15, 2007
Italy closes loopholes on illegal driftnetters
Two months after Oceana presented its findings to ACCOBAMS, a scientific organization devoted to the protection of dolphins, whales and other cetaceans in European seas, the Italian Attorney General announced new efforts to crack down on illegal driftnetting by declaring it illegal for vessels to carry driftnets on board regardless of whether or not they are being used when detected. Driftnets often incidentally kill marine mammals, sharks and other species.
January 10, 2007
Ending the online sale of shark fin soup
Oceana supporters bombarded online retailer Amazon.com with requests to stop selling shark fin soup. Within hours, Amazon.com had pulled the item from its virtual shelves. Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins. According to scientists, shark populations are crashing around the world.