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.

March, 2010

U.S. Government Proposes Endangered Status for U.S. Loggerhead Sea Turtles

In response to two petitions submitted in 2007 by Oceana, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a proposed rule to change the status of North Pacific and Northwest Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles from “threatened” to “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act.

The government also proposed listing loggerhead sea turtles around the globe as nine separate populations, each with its own threatened or endangered status.

December, 2009

Defending Belize Against Foreign Trawlers

Belize’s Ministry of Fisheries agreed to stop issuing fishing licenses to foreign fishing fleets in the country’s waters pending consultation with local fishermen. The decision came after Jamaican trawlers entered Belize’s southern waters in December, when Oceana called on the government of Belize to suspend all plans and proposals to allow foreign fleets in territorial waters.

September, 2009

Deep-sea Coral Ecosystems Protected in South Atlantic

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved a plan to protect more than 23,000 square miles of known deep-sea coral from North Carolina to Florida from destructive fishing gear. Five years in the making, the vote will restrict the footprint of bottom trawls – one of the most nonselective fishing gears currently in use, capable of destroying thousand-year-old coral reefs and moving 18-ton rocks – and help to restore the long-term productivity of commercially valuable fish that take refuge in these rare corals.

August, 2009

Gulf Council Protects Sea Turtles from Bottom Longlines

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council took its final step in an effort to protect threatened sea turtles from the bottom longline sector of the Gulf of Mexico reef fish fishery. Specifically, the Council voted to close all bottom longline fishing shoreward of 35 fathoms (approximately 210 feet) from June to August, a time when large numbers of loggerheads were caught in previous years, and to restrict longline fishing of all vessels that have a history of catching at least 40,000 lbs of reef fish each year.

June, 2009

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk on World Oceans Day

U.S. Ambassador Ron Kirk issued a statement on World Oceans Day urging the WTO to address overfishing by reducing harmful fishing subsidies.

June, 2009

Protecting Important Ecological Areas off the Oregon coast

The Oregon state legislature passed a bill to establish Oregon’s first two marine reserves and a protected area in its coastal waters, and defined a two year process to evaluate and implement additional areas to build a network of protected areas and reserves.  Oceana worked to identify the Important Ecological Areas off the Oregon coast and with a coalition of conservationists, scientists, and local communities, advanced a statewide proposal to protect Oregon’s coastal ocean ecosystem. 

June, 2009

WTO Director-General Lamy on World Oceans Day

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a statement on the occasion of World Oceans Day (8 June 2009), urged the WTO to take action to reduce fishing subsidies in light of overfishing concerns.

April, 2009

Pacific Loggerheads Protected from West Coast Longlines

The federal Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to maintain a standing prohibition on a West Coast-based high seas longline fishery. The vote will prevent the opening of a new swordfish fishery that would threaten migrating loggerhead sea turtles and other marine wildlife on the high seas of the north Pacific Ocean.

April, 2009

Sea Turtles Protected from Gulf Longlines

After Oceana’s advocacy work, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) put in place an emergency closure of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to bottom longline fishing gear from the reef fish fishery to protect sea turtles. The closure included all waters shallower than 50 fathoms for a period of six months. NMFS took this action after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted (10-7) to ask them to do so. Oceana was instrumental in pushing both the Agency and the Council to take these actions to protect sea turtles.

 

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