European Union Bans All Shark Finning
Victory! The European Union adopted a strict ban on shark finning this month, closing loopholes to a shark finning ban adopted in 2003. Under the previous ban, special permits allowed some fishing vessels to remove shark fins at sea. Shark finning is often committed on still-living sharks, whose bodies are then thrown overboard. This act is cruel and wasteful, and can lead to overfishing of vulnerable shark species.
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Ocean Research: EU Fishing Subsidies Fuel Overfishing
An Oceana study found that nearly all of the ¤4.9 billion the European Union spends on fishing subsidies ends up fueling overfishing and environmentally damaging practices. Only 1% of these funds ended up being used in ways that are beneficial to the oceans. These subsidies allow EU fishermen to fish longer, harder and farther than they could on their own, leading to overfishing of Europe's already fragile fisheries. Oceana is calling on the EU to stop subsidizing overfishing and to take steps to protect Europe's marine resources.
Policy and Politics: Victory! New York Bans Shark Fin Trade
Great news! This month, Governor Cuomo signed a bill banning the trade of shark fins in New York state. We delivered nearly 8,000 signatures from New Yorkers pushing for this ban, which prevents shark fins from being sold, traded, distributed, or possessed in the state. New York is now the 8th state in the U.S. with such a ban, following Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Maryland and Delaware.
Also in the political world, on July 17 Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey spoke out against seismic airgun testing and directly questioned the new Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell on DOI's policy. This is great evidence that pressure from supporters like you is working!
Lawyers for the Seas: Victory for Loggerhead Turtles!
After a lawsuit from Oceana and other groups, the government has just proposed to protect 36 areas of ocean habitat across six states for loggerhead turtles. For five years, the government has ignored petitions to protect these turtles, despite their status as a threatened species, leading us to sue for their protection. This new proposal will protect waters off of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, but fails to cover feeding grounds in other states.
In The Field: Baltic Expedition Ends
Oceana's six-week expedition of the Baltic Sea ended this month. This expedition, our third foray into the Baltic Sea, focused on coastal waters and spanned seven countries. The goal of the expedition was to expose the shortcomings of the current network of marine protected areas in the Baltic Sea and document fisheries. We've collected many hours of video footage and over 6,000 photographs.
Photo of the Month: Baltic Expedition Diver and Net
From Carlos Minguell's expedition diary: "The second dive was next to a net that drew our attention towards it due to its large mesh. It made a wall of hundreds of meters from the surface to a depth of three meters to the bottom and ended in another kind of trammel net with a smaller mesh size. Under the mesh we found salmon remains. Probably it is a fishing gear used to catch these fish and the remains are fish that were "stolen" from the net and eaten by seals. I guess the fishermen of this area are not exactly big fans of seals."
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