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.

October, 2018

Oregon Governor Prohibits Offshore Oil Drilling Activities off the State

Today, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 18-28 directing state agencies to protect Oregon’s coast from offshore oil and gas drilling. The Executive Order specifically made it the official policy of the state of Oregon to oppose oil drilling activities from shore to over 200 miles off the state, and to prevent the development of any new infrastructure that would serve offshore drilling operations.

September, 2018

California Phases Out Destructive Swordfish Drift Gillnet Fishing, Protecting Marine Mammals, Turtles and Sharks From Bycatch

Despite 30 years of management measures aimed at reducing bycatch, the California swordfish drift gillnet fishery had remained one of the nation’s dirtiest fisheries, killing more dolphins than all observed U.S. West Coast fisheries combined. Thanks to a years-long campaign by Oceana and our allies, a new law will clean up the fishery, phasing out the use of drift gillnets through a buyout transition program and incentivizing the use of cleaner fishing gear. These measures will eventually eliminate nets that have frequently entangled, injured and killed marine mammals like whales, dolphins and sea lions as well as endangered sea turtles, sharks and other important fish species.

June, 2018

More Than 300 Square Miles of Deep-Sea Corals Protected in Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved a plan to protect over 300 square miles of deep-sea corals in the Gulf of Mexico. The plan, titled “Amendment 9,” will protect 21 distinct areas, ranging from Florida to Texas, which scientists have identified as special coral habitats. Oceana has worked for more than a decade to identify and protect deep-sea corals from harmful fishing gears in United States waters and around the world, and has won victories for corals in the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific.

April, 2018

Corals, Sponges, Underwater Canyons Get New Protections off U.S. West Coast

In a unanimous vote, the Pacific Fishery Management Council acted to protect more than 140,000 square miles of seafloor from bottom trawling, a destructive fishing practice in which heavy fishing gear is dragged across the seabed. This action will safeguard a unique variety of coral gardens, sponge beds, rocky reefs, and deep-sea ecosystems that provide nurseries, food and shelter for many species — including lingcod, sablefish, flatfish, sharks, rays and more than 60 species of rockfish — important for both ocean abundance and commercial and recreational fishing. This victory for ocean diversity will more than double the area of protected seafloor in U.S. waters off California, Oregon, and Washington.  The fishery council's action will also restore fishing opportunities by opening some historic fishing grounds that were previously closed to bottom trawling while overfished rockfish populations recovered. This outcome comes after a decade of campaigning by Oceana and its allies and builds on previous  work which secured more than 135,000 square miles of West Coast seafloor protections in 2006. Once these new measures are implemented, more than 90 percent of the U.S. West Coast's Exclusive Economic Zone (3-200 miles from shore) will be protected from bottom trawling.

August, 2017

U.S. Court Upholds Rule Requiring Traceability for At-Risk Seafood Imports

A federal court ruled in favor of upholding the Seafood Import Monitoring Program, rejecting a lawsuit that would have invalidated the rule. The program helps to reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud by increasing seafood traceability. The Commerce Department program, also known as the Seafood Traceability Rule, was implemented by the US government following campaigning by Oceana. It requires seafood importers of species like tuna, grouper, swordfish, red snapper and blue crab to provide specific information before their products can enter the United States, including what kind of fish it is, as well as how and where it was caught or farmed. Oceana (represented by Earthjustice), the Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a joint amicus brief in support of the Seafood Traceability Rule.

June, 2017

Peru Commits to Publish Vessel Tracking Data through Global Fishing Watch

The Peruvian government made a public commitment to make its national vessel tracking data publicly available through Global Fishing Watch. This means data for all of Peru’s fisheries will be made public, including for the country’s famous anchoveta fishery which has historically been the world’s largest fishery by weight. This decision will make Peru’s enormous and important fisheries transparent and accountable to governments, fishery managers, seafood suppliers and buyers, journalists, researchers, nonprofit organizations and citizens around the world and assist in the responsible management of these ocean resources. The commitment, which was announced at The Ocean Conference hosted by the United Nations in New York City, was the result of Oceana's collaboration with the Peruvian government to increase transparency of commercial fishing in Peru's waters.

April, 2017

Sweeping Protections for the Ocean’s Tiny Fish

Today, hundreds of species of the ocean’s smallest schooling fish are protected from the shoreline to 200 miles out to sea and from Washington’s northern border to California’s southern border to ensure a healthy and productive ocean into the future. New regulations put in place on Saturday, April 15 by the State of California prohibit new fisheries from developing on certain species of forage fish from zero to three miles unless and until it can be demonstrated these tiny, but critical fish can be caught without causing harm to the ecosystem. With similar regulations in place in Washington and Oregon state waters (0-3 miles) and in federal waters coast-wide (3-200 miles), this action by California is the last piece of the puzzle completing sweeping protections that now apply to all U.S. ocean waters on the West Coast from shore out to 200 miles.  

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.

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