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.
July 1, 2013
EU shark finning ban comes into effect
As of 6 July, 2013, all sharks caught in European waters or by European vessels have to be landed with their fins still naturally attached. Celebrating the arrival of the long-awaited, strict EU ban on shark finning, Oceana welcomes the new EU regulation’s entry into effect. It ends nearly a decade of battle to close several enforcement loopholes that had weakened the previous EU policy. In particular, an exemption used only by Spain and Portugal had allowed some vessels to remove shark fins at sea, which made it extremely difficult even to detect when finning had occurred. Since the beginning of its work in Europe, Oceana has campaigned for a strict ban on shark finning as one important aspect of improved shark fisheries management in the EU.
February 1, 2013
Dramatic Reforms for Europe’s Fisheries
The European Parliament approved major reforms to the Common Fishery Policy, a law that manages all European fisheries. Members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a comprehensive reform policy that includes amendments – many of which were proposed by Oceana – that require member states to fish all stocks at sustainable levels by 2015 and comply with a strong EU-wide discard ban, and puts an end to the practice of “discards”, throwing dead unwanted fish back into the sea. Oceana campaigned for years to make sure that this once in a decade opportunity to reform the failed EU fisheries policy was not wasted.
December 1, 2012
E.U. Parliament Votes to Curb Overfishing
After 18 months of negotiations, the Fisheries Committee of the EU parliament voted to put in place new measures that would effectively end overfishing and greatly improve the way the EU manages its fisheries, which have been historically poor managed and overfished. In recent years, the majority of its scientifically-assessed fisheries have been found to be overexploited. The measures supported by MEPs include an obligation to set catch limits above maximum sustainable yield levels by 2015, in order for stocks to recover by 2020, and a clear ban on discards. Oceana has been campaigning for these changes for years. The new reforms now go to a vote before the entire European Parliament.
December 1, 2012
Wild Sea Trout Fishing Banned in the Gulf of Finland
The authorities of Uusimaa and the Southeast Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment banned wild sea trout fisheries in the Gulf of Finland to give the stock a chance to rebuild. In the summer of 2012, alarming surveys from the Baltic Sea found that wild sea trout had become critically endangered in the region. Until recently there were no limits to how much wild sea trout could be caught despite a steady decline in recent decades and evidence that populations in Finland and Russia were well below historic levels.
November 1, 2012
E.U. goes “fins attached”
The European Parliament approved a strict ban on shark finning, closing a crucial loophole in EU law by requiring that all sharks caught in EU waters, and by EU vessels in international waters, be landed with their fins attached. This is a monumental achievement for sharks and one that Oceana campaigned for. The EU is the world’s largest exporter of shark fins to Hong Kong and mainland China and the new EU rule represents a huge step forward in the conservation of sharks.
November 1, 2012
Chilean Senate Passes Sweeping Fisheries Measures
The Chilean senate passed sweeping new regulations that establish a more robust, science based fisheries regulatory regimen. The new laws will close all 118 of Chile’s seamounts to bottom trawling, impose science-based fishing quotas and drastically reduce the incidental capture and discard of unwanted species by improving monitoring on Chilean fishing vessels. Oceana has been pushing for all of these changes for years, and during the passage of this historic legislation our work was acknowledged by several senators as well as the Chilean Minister of the Economy.
August 1, 2012
Castilla Power Plant Defeated by Chilean Supreme Court
After a long battle by Oceana and allies, a planned coal-fired thermoelectric power plant in Northern Chile known as Castilla, was rejected by the Chilean Supreme Court.
The Castilla plant was planned for the Punta Cachos region, just a few kilometers from important habitats for Humboldt penguins, sea turtles and one of Chile’s few seagrass meadows. As part of its operations, the plant would have released warm water into the ocean, which could have affected the entire ecosystem.
July 1, 2012
Sharks and Rays Gain Protections in the Med
The EU voted in favor of strictly protecting 10 threatened species of sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea, under the Barcelona Convention. These species, including hammerheads, tope, and shortfin mako, have declined dramatically in numbers – some by as much as 99% during the last century – while others have vanished from parts of the Mediterranean where they were once common.
May 1, 2012
23 Nations Support Shark Conservation in the Mediterranean
For the first time in its 60-year history, the FAO’s General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean took action for shark protection. The Commission adopted measures for the management and conservation of sharks and rays in the Mediterranean, the region of highest risk in the world for these fishes. Twenty-three Mediterranean countries endorsed a proposal from the EU that bans the unsustainable practice of shark finning, prohibits trawling in some sensitive near-shore habitats, and requires countries to collect and report data on catches of some threatened species.
January 1, 2012
Pacific Leatherbacks Gain Protected Habitat
The National Marine Fisheries Service finalized protection of 41,914 square miles of protected critical ocean habitat off the shores of Washington, Oregon and California for the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle. This is the first permanent safe haven for leatherbacks designated in continental U.S. waters and is the largest area set aside to protect sea turtle habitat in the United States or its territories. The final protection comes in response to a petition submitted in 2007 by Oceana, Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center for Biological Diversity.