Victories | Oceana USA

Victories

Since 2001, Oceana has achieved dozens of concrete policy victories for marine life and habitats. 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, 2017

President Obama Denies All Pending Permits for Seismic Airgun Blasting in Atlantic Ocean

The Obama administration formally denies all pending permits to conduct seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. Seismic airgun blasting, an extremely loud and dangerous process used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface, was originally proposed in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida.

December, 2016

President Obama Permanently Protects Important Areas of Atlantic Ocean from Offshore Drilling

The Obama administration moves to permanently protect important areas of the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling. Using his authority under section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, President Obama is withdrawing 3.8 million acres in the north and mid-Atlantic Ocean from future mineral extraction, protecting 31 canyons that extend from Heezen Canyon offshore New England to Norfolk Canyon offshore of the Chesapeake Bay.

December, 2016

Obama Administration Announces Final Rule to Address Illegal Fishing and Seafood Fraud in United States

The Obama administration announces its final rule to implement the Seafood Import Monitoring Program to address illegal fishing and seafood fraud in the United States. The final rule will require imported seafood at risk of illegal fishing and seafood fraud to be traced from the fishing boat or farm to the U.S. border, helping to stop illegally caught and mislabeled seafood from entering the United States.  

November, 2016

Oceana Celebrates Victory in Protecting Arctic Ocean from Offshore Drilling

The Obama administration made another historic move to decrease America’s dependence on dirty fossil fuels, this time protecting the Arctic Ocean from offshore drilling. In the newly released final five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) removed the Chukchi and Beaufort seas for leasing from 2017 to 2022. This announcement follows a similar decision in March where BOEM removed the Atlantic Ocean from the five-year program following widespread opposition along the East Coast. 

June, 2016

Congress Introduces Legislation to Ban Trade of Shark Fins in US

Members of Congress announce the introduction of  a new bill to ban the trade of shark fins in the United States. The bipartisan Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016 was introduced today by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Reps. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (I-MP) and Ed Royce (R-CA). While the act of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, shark fins continue to be bought and sold throughout the United States.

April, 2016

Small Fish Win Big Protections in the U.S. Pacific Ocean

The National Marine Fisheries Service issued a final rule today prohibiting the development of new commercial fisheries for forage species in all federal ocean waters offshore Washington, Oregon, and California (3-200 nautical miles). These regulations implement a unanimous decision by the federal Pacific Fishery Management Council which voted in March 2015 to proactively protect forage fish.

March, 2016

Oceana Declares Victory in Protecting the Atlantic from Offshore Drilling

The Obama administration made a historic move to protect the East Coast from offshore drilling. In the newly proposed five-year program for oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management removed the Atlantic Ocean for leasing from 2017 to 2022. While Oceana applauded the Obama administration for listening to widespread opposition along the East Coast, it continues to urge the government to stop seismic airgun use in the Atlantic and not to hold new lease sales in the remote and unforgiving Arctic Ocean.
 

December, 2015

GrubHub to Ban Sale of Shark Fin Products

GrubHub, the nation's leading online and mobile food ordering company, announced it will no longer allow restaurants to sell shark fin products through its website and subsidiary websites. It is estimated that 73 million sharks, many of which are vulnerable or even critically endangered species, are killed every year to supply the wasteful demand for shark fin soup. Shark finning involves hacking a shark’s fins off, often while the shark is still alive. The body of the shark is then thrown back into the ocean, only to drown, starve or die a slow death. Although the practice of shark finning is illegal in U.S. waters, fins can still be bought and sold in many U.S. states. These fins often come from unsustainable foreign fisheries in countries that have ineffective shark finning bans, contributing to the global trend of declining shark populations, which scientists have estimated to be at more than 90 percent for many species. Since 2010, 10 states and three U.S. territories have passed laws prohibiting the buying and selling of shark fins within their borders, including California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington as well as American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. As apex predators, sharks play a critical role in maintaining healthy oceans and balanced food webs, however the global fin trade has thrown many marine ecosystems into jeopardy.

September, 2015

Shell Abandons Drilling Activity in U.S. Arctic Ocean

Following years of campaigning by Oceana and its allies, Shell Oil announced that it will cease further oil exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean for the foreseeable future. The move comes after a series of failed exploration attempts in the Arctic, costing the company billions of dollars. Shell’s efforts to operate in the remote and unforgiving Arctic in 2012 led to a series of mishaps, fines, government investigations and the grounding of the drill rig Kulluk. This year Shell faced new challenges and was unable to find oil in the prospect where the company drilled. Oceana’s campaigners successfully used law, economics, lobbying, science, and the press to clearly make the case that Shell’s plan was neither economically viable nor environmentally safe. Today’s decision is propelled by more than eight years of campaigning by Oceana and its allies whose work charted new ways to stop one of the largest and most powerful companies on the planet from putting the U.S. Arctic Ocean at risk. This is an enormous victory for the oceans, Oceana and the entire conservation community. 

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