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.
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When Oceana began its campaign, nine U.S. chlorine plants used outdated mercury-polluting technology.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.
September 10, 2006
Protecting Sharks from Finning in the EU
Oceana and other members of the Shark Alliance scored a major victory for sharks in the European Parliament when the Parliament decided to reject a recommendation from its own Fisheries Committee to increase the allowable ratio of shark fins to bodies from 5 percent to 6.5 percent.
November 15, 2005
The Spanish Ministry of Defence approved a moratorium for military exercises in the Canary Islands
Oceana had access to military declassified documents which highlighted the damage that the use of active sonar produces in cetaceans and marine wildlife.
September 15, 2005
Limiting destructive trawling in Europe
After two years of intensive lobbying by Oceana in Brussels and Madrid, the European Union prohibited destructive fishing practices, including bottom trawling, which destroys important marine habitat, in over 160 million acres around the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. The area protected covers an area larger than France.
May 15, 2005
Ending backroom deals in fisheries
Oceana’s lawyers won a change in the rules for fishery policy-making in Chile that will stop government officials from keeping secrets. Now they must publicly disclose the information they use to set quotas and other rules for commercial fishing companies operating along Chile’s massive coastline.
May 1, 2005
Preventing 20,000,000 Tons of Oil from Being Illegally Dumped in the Ocean
A new law was passed by the European Union that imposes criminal sanctions, including heavy fines and even jail terms, for the owners, operators and financiers of boats that illegally dump oily waters and residues into the sea. The new law could prevent as much as 20,000,000 tons of polluting substances from getting into the ocean every year – the single biggest reduction in oil pollution in decades, anywhere in the world.