Oceana (non-profit group)

For other uses of the term, see Oceana (disambiguation).
Founded 2001
Focus Oceans, overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution
Area served
Method Campaigns
Key people
Andrew Sharpless, CEO
James Simon, Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Michael Hirshfield, Chief Scientist and Strategy Officer
Dr. Kristian Parker, Chair
Ted Danson, Founding Board Member
Xavier Pastor, Senior Vice President
Lasse Gustavsson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Europe
Susan Murray, Director, Pacific
Alex Muñoz, Vice President, South America
Slogan Protecting the World's Oceans
Website Oceana.org

Oceana is the largest international ocean conservation and advocacy organization. Oceana works to protect and restore the world’s oceans through targeted policy campaigns.

Oceana bases its policy campaign goals on science to achieve concrete and measurable results through targeted campaigns that combine policy, advocacy, science, law, media, and public pressure to prevent collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life caused by industrial fishing and pollution. Campaigns are designed to produce clear, identifiable policy changes within a 3–5 year timeframe.

Oceana is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has North American offices in New York City; Juneau, Alaska; Anchorage, Alaska; Portland, Oregon; Monterey, California; Boston; and Los Angeles. In Europe, Oceana has offices in Brussels, Belgium and Madrid, Spain. The South American office is in Santiago, Chile and the Central American office is in Belmopan, Belize.


Oceana was established in 2001, by a group of leading foundations—The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), and the Turner Foundation. Those foundations discovered through a study commissioned in 1999, that less than one-half of one percent of all resources spent by environmental non-profit groups in the United States went to ocean advocacy. Thus Oceana was created to identify practical solutions to the problems facing the oceans and to make those solutions happen.

The organization was not started from scratch, as the Ocean Law Project—also initiated by The Pew Charitable Trusts—was absorbed into Oceana in 2001, as the Oceana’s legal arm. In 2002, Oceana merged with American Oceans Campaign, founded by actor/environmentalist Ted Danson, to more effectively address their common mission of protecting and restoring the world’s oceans. Danson remains a committed and active member of Oceana’s Board of Directors.


Past Campaign Work and Victories

North America

In addition, after work by Oceana, in February 2009, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to prevent the expansion of industrial fishing into all U.S. waters north of the Bering Strait for the foreseeable future to limit stress on ocean ecosystems in light of the dramatic impacts of global climate change in the Arctic.

South America


Ocean Hero Awards

Main article: Ocean Heroes Award

Oceana created the Ocean Heroes Award in 2009 to recognize the efforts of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to ocean conservation. Recipients of the award are announced annually on World Oceans Day, June 8. The Ocean Hero Awards recognized one individual its inaugural year, but the award has since expanded to honor both an adult and a youth Ocean Hero.

See also


  1. "Shark Finning Finally Banned in the European Union". inhabitat.com. 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
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