Protecting Ocean Habitats - Oceana USA

Responsible Fishing

Protecting Ocean Habitat

Oceana seeks to protect areas essential to restoring the ocean’s abundance and biodiversity.



Our oceans are home to a variety of marine habitats, including nutrient-rich polar waters, underwater seagrass beds and both shallow and deepwater coral reefs. Oceana wins policy victories that protect the most important and productive marine areas to increase the biodiversity and abundance of the world’s oceans.

Protecting important marine habitat is critical for maintaining healthy oceans and restoring biodiversity. Many marine areas serve as essential fish habitat, providing nursery areas for young fish, offering shelter from predators and providing a source of food. Marine habitat is also important for marine mammals, sea turtles and sharks. Many of these animals are keystone species. The health of their populations is necessary to promote the health of the broader ecosystem. Protecting important ocean habitats from destructive fishing practices protects all marine life, from the top predators to tiny zooplankton.


Because of the important roles these places play in supporting healthy fish populations, these habitats warrant special protection: