U.S. Protects America’s Arctic from Industrial Fishing
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) voted to prevent the expansion of industrial fishing into all U.S. waters north of the Bering Strait for the foreseeable future to limit stress on ocean ecosystems in light of the dramatic impacts of global climate change in the Arctic. With no large-scale commercial fishing in the U.S. Arctic at present, this decision establishes one of the largest preventative and precautionary measures in fisheries management history.
The Spanish government, after campaigning and consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks and evaluate the viability of landing sharks whole with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark catching and exporting countries in the world.
After more than a year of pressure from Oceana, Dr. Susan Lark, an online wellness personality who markets health and beauty products, announced that she will sell cosmetic products containing squalane derived from olives rather than deep-sea sharks. More than 15,000 Wavemakers contacted Lark, telling her it was unconscionable to sacrifice already at-risk shark populations for the sake of beauty.
Saving Hammerhead, Thresher, Blue and Shortfin Mako Sharks
The Spanish government, after campaigning and consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks and evaluate the viability of landing sharks “whole” with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark catching and exporting countries in the world.
Pollock Catch Levels Reduced to Protect Aleutian Islands Ecosystem
Fishery managers reduced the catch level for the Bering Sea pollock fishery, the largest fishery in North America, by 18 percent to around 815,000 metric tons for the 2009 season. The new limit was put in place due to declining pollock numbers, and a recognition of the importance of pollock to the ecosystems of the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea. Pollock are a central food source for endangered Steller sea lions, salmon, fur seals, halibut, seabirds and other animals.
The federal government has begun implementation of a “risk assessment” for the Aleutian Islands, the critical first step towards getting meaningful spill response capabilities in place for the region. The risk assessment will help policy makers and the Coast Guard in designing and implementing a spill response plan for the Aleutians that includes adequate funding for the complete monitoring of all ship traffic and ensuring necessary training, resources and equipment in place locally for the Aleutians.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that it will adopt Oceana’s “freeze-the-footprint” approach by closing nearly 180,000 square miles of the Bering Sea to destructive bottom trawlingto protect important seafloor habitats and marine life.
The world’s largest fishery took the first step toward reducing wasteful king salmon bycatch. After pressure from Oceana and its allies, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council moved forward on capping salmon bycatch in the Alaska pollock fishery.
In June 2008, Following advocacy from Oceana, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) finalized a regulation requiring the landing of sharks with their fins still attached in the federal waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, also after Oceana’s urging, passed similar regulations in August 2008 for the state waters along the east coast of the United States.
Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of the Interior to uplist the loggerhead sea turtle population in the Atlantic Ocean from "threatened" to "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. In addition, the petition calls on the government to protect key habitat areas by designating them “critical habitats” under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. government announced on March 5, 2008 that our petition was sufficiently well-founded to require a detailed governmental review of the loggerhead sea turtle population in the Atlantic Ocean to decide whether it should be declared "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act.