Oceana Receives 2.5 million dollar Grant from the Arcadia Fund to Support its International Campaigns to Protect and Restore the World’s Oceans - Oceana USA

Oceana Receives 2.5 million dollar Grant from the Arcadia Fund to Support its International Campaigns to Protect and Restore the World’s Oceans

Funds dispersed over 3-year period will help organization address habitat protection, fishing quotas, fishing subsidies, and marine pollution

Press Release Date: December 13, 2010

Location: Washington, D.C.

Contact:

Dustin Cranor, APR 954.348.1314

Oceana announced today the receipt of two significant grants from UK-based Arcadia Fund. The first grant, amounting to 2,550,000 US dollars, will be paid over a period of three years to support Oceana’s core costs.  This grant will enable Oceana to achieve its campaign goals in habitat protection, fishing quotas, fishing subsidies, and marine pollution.  This is the second such core grant that Oceana has been fortunate to be awarded by Arcadia – the first was a three-year grant of 5,250,000 US dollars awarded in May 2007.

In addition, Arcadia has awarded Oceana 1 million US dollars over a two-year period to fund improvements in marine health in the Baltic Sea.  This grant will enable Oceana to undertake a series of investigations designed to prompt enforcement activity to deal with illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Baltic.  Operations in the region will also aim to enlarge and improve the network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in order to protect the ecologically important habitat of the Baltic Sea. 

“Arcadia is pleased to award these further grants to Oceana to support its mission to protect and restore the world’s oceans,” said Anthea Case, Principal Adviser to the Arcadia Fund. 

“Oceana is grateful to the Arcadia Fund for its magnificent support,” said Oceana CEO, Andrew Sharpless. “With these funds, Oceana will set tangible policy goals and direct the attention and resources needed to win many more victories for our oceans.”

Oceana will focus Arcadia grant funds towards four action areas, which were chosen based on a consensus among scientists throughout the world who agree the following are part of the solution for preserving and restoring marine life:

  • Protect seafloor habitat from destructive bottom trawling
  • Set and enforce reasonable catch limits for commercial fishing
  • Stop marine pollution, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are making the oceans more acidic
  • Stop subsidizing overcapacity in commercial fishing fleets which leads to overfishing

Within each action area, Oceana has selected multi-year goals based, in part, on biological importance, feasibility of success, and Oceana’s ability to make a difference.  During the three-year period of Arcadia funding, the organization will run important campaigns, including efforts to eliminate harmful fishing subsidies (i.e., those facilitating overcapacity in the commercial fishing fleet) by participating in the world-wide negotiation to renew the World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty. 

“What is exciting about this issue is that saving the oceans is the most serious environmental problem that the world faces for which there is a politically achievable solution,” said Sharpless. “Unexamined and unchecked, the commercial fishing industry has been permitted to extract life from our oceans at totally unsustainable rates. The world’s fisheries are nearing collapse, and populations of important species like marlin and tuna are down 90% from 1950’s levels. The good news is that we know what the problems are, we know what to do, and we can win.”

By the end of the three-year core-support grant period, Oceana will have also sought to protect substantial marine areas from relevant threats in each of its regions: North America, South America (Chile), Central America (Belize), and Europe.  To date Oceana, through its campaign-based structure, has already been able to protect 1.2 million square miles of ocean habitat in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Mediterranean from destructive bottom trawling.  Over the next three years Oceana has also committed to obtaining protective fishing quotas for marine animals at the top and bottom of the food web in order to sustain healthy marine ecosystems. 

To stop marine pollution and curb carbon dioxide emissions, Oceana seeks to advocate for policies that would: ban new ocean drilling in the United States, facilitate the construction of offshore windmills in the United States and Europe, control carbon dioxide emissions from marine transport vessels, and raise the profile of ocean acidification as an important reason to control carbon dioxide emissions. 

By the end of the two-year Baltic grant period, Oceana will have sought to galvanize the European Union (EU) and the national governments around the Baltic Sea to enforce existing regulations on fishing practices and to increase the size of, and protection afforded to, designated Marine Protected Areas.

Arcadia’s key mission is to protect endangered culture and nature.  This includes the protection of ecosystems and environments threatened with extinction. 

“Marine conservation issues are important and urgent.  They warrant our support and attention,” said Anthea Case, Principal Adviser to the Arcadia Fund. “We are very happy to be able to support Oceana and its important work.”

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Arcadia is the charitable foundation of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Since inception in 2001 Arcadia has awarded grants in excess of $190 million.  Arcadia works to protect endangered culture and nature. For more information please see www.arcadiafund.org.uk.