Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oceana's Hugely Successful 2009

December 1, 2009 by Hardy Jones

BlueVoice grew out of American Oceans Campaign which was later absorbed by Oceana. BlueVoice then became a fully independent 501 c 3 but continues to work closely with Oceana. Today I am sitting in as a member of the Oceana Ocean Council, on the annual Washington DC board meeting.

The work that Oceana does is stunningly impressive. As Ocean conservation NGOs go Oceana is well funded. And they use these funds to excellent purpose. The organization is highly dedicated to specific goals that are attainable.

By the end of the presentations on 2009 activities I was enormously encouraged. Oceana has proven that it packs a punch. Successes like this prove big battles can be won.

Some of the victories achieved during the previous year include:

Protection of Sea Turtles from longlines in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nearing passage of a bill that would prohibit landing sharks without their fins attached. This would prevent the deplorable practice of catching sharks, cutting off their fins, and dumping the rest of the shark back into the ocean alive to die a torturous death by drowning.

Winning protection for bluefin tuna.

Having contributed to converting five chlorine plants in the United States to processes that do not produce mercury, Oceana is working to convert the final four.

Currently working to get congress to pass a resolution that recognizes ocean acidification to be another of the damaging results of CO2 emissions.

Helped stop (for now) expansion of oil and gas expansion in the U.S. Arctic.

Closed the U.S. Arctic to industrial fishing.

Supported legislation that now protects krill in federal waters of the California current.

Reached agreement with fishermen to protect deep water corals off coast of Florida.

I always come away from these board meetings inspired by Ocean’s work. It is reassuring to know that a powerful ocean conservation organization is working so effectively to protect the seas and its creatures.

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