Oceana's Victories in Protecting the World's Oceans
There's a lot of bad news about the oceans, pollution and climate change, but together we can make a difference.
One Ocean Beauty is Oceana's exclusive beauty & wellness partner. By supporting us, you are making positive change. Here are some of Oceana's 2018 victories for the oceans and for us all.
BELIZE BANS OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING, PROTECTING THE LARGEST BARRIER REEF IN THE AMERICAS
Belize made history, banning offshore oil exploration and drilling to protect the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef system in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was after seven years of campaigning by Oceana, its allies and by thousands of Belizeans committed to stopping drilling and protecting their barrier reef, ocean and way of life. READ MORE
CHILE ANNOUNCES PROTECTED AREA IN TORTEL TO PRESERVE PRISTINE HABITAT
Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, created a protected area around the southern town of Tortel, a top visitor destination in Patagonia. Two years ago, the fjords at Caleta Tortel were threatened by salmon farms, which often wreak havoc on marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. Now, thanks to Oceana’s efforts, Tortel will be protected from salmon farming and other development that could irreparably damage this unique ecosystem. READ MORE
CHILE PROTECTS JUAN FERNANDEZ ISLANDS AND WILDLIFE FOUND NOWHERE ELSE ON EARTH
In a huge victory for Oceana, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet protected 262,000 km2 of ocean around the Juan Fernandez Islands, among the most biodiverse and productive places on the planet and home to wildlife found nowhere else. Oceana worked with the local communities plus National Geographic’s Pristine Seas to win protection for the sea, while preserving local sustainable lobster and fishing efforts. 25% of Chile's ocean is now protected as ‘no-take’ marine parks, making Chile a true global leader in ocean conservation. READ MORE
MORE THAN 140,000 SQUARE MILES OF FRAGILE SEAFLOOR HABITATS PROTECTED FROM DESTRUCTIVE BOTTOM TRAWLING OFF U.S. PACIFIC COAST
In a unanimous vote, the Pacific Fishery Management Council protected over 140,000 square miles of seafloor from bottom trawling (a destructive practice in which heavy fishing gear is dragged across the seabed), safeguarding coral gardens, sponge beds, rocky reefs, and deep-sea ecosystems that provide nurseries, food and shelter for many species.
This victory will more than double the area of protected seafloor in U.S. waters off California, Oregon, and Washington. 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 saved from bottom trawling. READ MORE
BRAZIL INTRODUCES FIRST-EVER MANAGEMENT RULES FOR TAINHA, BEGINS SCIENCE-BASED MANAGEMENT OF ITS FISHERIES
The Brazilian government published fishing management rules for the tainha (mullet), marking a significant victory for Oceana and its allies in Brazil. These new rules are science-based, including stock assessments and catch limits, helping to avoid overfishing and declining tainha fishing stocks. READ MORE
PHILIPPINES CREATES BENHAM BANK PROTECTED AREA TO SAFEGUARD UNIQUE HABITAT, CORALS AND MORE
The Philippines government created a protected marine zone in Benham Bank, declaring 50,000 hectares where only scientific research will be permitted, plus an additional 300,000 hectare Fisheries Management Area where active fishing gear will be banned. This will help protect marine life, including coral reefs, whales, dolphins, sharks, rays and sea turtles. The area is also a spawning area for Pacific bluefin tuna, one of the most valuable fish on Earth. READ MORE
MALTA EXPANDS HABITAT PROTECTIONS IN MEDITERRANEAN
Malta announced the designation or expansion of eight marine protected areas in the Mediterranean as a result of Oceana efforts beginning in 2013. Oceana mapped out sandbanks, reefs and more than 89 marine caves through use of a Remotely Operated Vehicle and scuba divers. With these new measures, 35 percent of Malta’s waters are now protected. READ MORE
BRAZIL BANS DESTRUCTIVE BOTTOM TRAWLING IN WATERS OF RIO GRANDE DO SUL
The state of Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil, has banned bottom trawling. These new protections extend along the entire length of the state’s 620 km coast and cover a distance of 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from shore. This area is now protected from bottom trawling, a destructive fishing technique. 90% of the state’s fish industries closed in the last 30 years due to overfishing and poor management. The new protections were welcomed by both conservationists and fishers as a measure that would help restore the long-term health of Brazil’s fisheries. READ MORE
CALIFORNIA PHASES OUT DESTRUCTIVE SWORDFISH DRIFT GILLNET FISHING, PROTECTING MARINE MAMMALS, TURTLES AND SHARKS FROM BYCATCH
Despite 30 years of management measures to reduce bycatch, California’s swordfish drift gillnet fishery remained one of the nation’s dirtiest fisheries, killing more dolphins than all observed U.S. West Coast fisheries combined.
Thanks to Oceana and its allies, a new law will phase out the use of drift gillnets through a buyout program, 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. READ MORE