Ocean Victories


The ocean rejuvenates, inspires, and restores us. It gives us so much, but any ocean-related news is too often depressing. One of the reasons I love the nonprofit group Oceana is that it does something about the depressing news. Members receive notifications of petitions to sign and the group works with lawyers and politicians to create real environmental change. So for some good news, here are a few ocean victories that came about this year:

1. Nearly 40,000 people signed an Oceana petition asking Alibaba.com to stop selling leather products made from manta rays. The company listened and the products were removed from the website.

2. The first permanent safe haven in continental U.S. waters for the endangered Pacific leatherback turtle was established when the government designated about 42,000 square miles off the West Coast as critical habitat.

3. The European Parliament approved a ban on shark finning. The EU is the world’s largest exporter of shark fins to Hong Kong and China. This new rule is a step toward the protection and conservation of sharks around the world.

4. New laws passed by the Chilean senate will close all of Chile’s 118 seamounts to bottom trawling, impose science-based fishing quotas, and improve monitoring on Chilean fishing vessels to drastically reduce untargeted catch or bycatch.

5. Responding to petitions filed by Oceana, the government announced that it will consider the West Coast population of great white sharks for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act by June 2013. This unique population of sharks may only have a few hundred adults remaining.

31 thoughts on “Ocean Victories

  1. Those of us far from oceans tend not to think of them except in times of vacation and meditation, so it’s interesting to learn these things. Nice to see some progress has been made. Baby steps, I suppose.

    • Yes, I was so glad to hear any good ocean news that some of those brought tears to my eyes. 🙂 The group tackles other issues like oil spill prevention and correct labeling for seafood but I guess those are all ongoing.

  2. Yeah, ditto to Carrie’s comment. I don’t think about it because it is far from my sight and thoughts (especially with it snowing outside). Interesting facts about Oceana. Enjoy the ocean for all of us inland dwellers.

    • I don’t usually see it while doing the day-to-day things and sometimes even forget to go and visit. Usually we’ll walk in the woods instead of going to the beach, especially this time of year. I just see the sad ocean headlines every day.

  3. I live close to the ocean (San Diego) but somehow rarely go there. I want to take the kids there this winter to see the tide pools since I understand that’s when the low tides happen during the day. The ocean is such a fragile place and it’s so easy for humans to mess it up. Every time it rains a good amount here, they close the beaches because of the polluting runoff. It’s just gross to think so much man-made pollution still makes it down to the ocean and we let it happen. Why all the sewers dump directly into the ocean without any sort of filtering first is my guess. Especially when we know how harmful it is.

    • I agree and that’s one of the reasons Oceana formed – because of beach closings all over the place. They never used to happen here but now beaches are closed every summer. Investigating tide pools was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. I hope you and your kids have fun!

  4. Celebrate these small steps but keep up the pressure. The ocean has always been a great passion for me and I delight in living so close now. In minutes, I can be on the beach and often am. Keep up the good work!

    • I just sign the petitions and Oceana does the work. 🙂 But it does make me feel good to know those petitions help in some way.

  5. Thank you, Sheila! I’ll definitely follow Oceana now. It’s good to know that they are having an impact! Happy New Year!

  6. I don’t hear the good news nearly as often as the bad news. I’m so happy to know that people have stepped up to do something to protect the ocean. Goes to show us that when enough of us band together, anything is possible.

    • That’s so true – it really does help to band together for things like this. Yay for the good news! Hope you have a happy new year!

  7. It is wonderful to hear some good news at the end of this year, which seems to have had too much in the way of bad. I honestly believe that if the news would focus more on positive steps being taken and good deeds being done in the world and less on glorifying bad behavior as a way to get one’s 15 minutes of fame, we would see an improvement in overall human behavior. I think more people would be more likely to become involved and understand that one person can make a positive difference.

    • Yes, I think people too often hear the bad news and think they can’t make a difference when really everything we do makes a difference in some way. Hope you have a happy new year.

  8. you look just as I pictured you and extremely more luminous ! Bless you and your worthy endeavors dear friend ~ Happy Heavenly New Year!

  9. Pingback: Happy Blogiversary to Me | Joy in the Moments

  10. every step is one even there are many more steps to be set. thank you for sharing this positive information, Sheila.
    Wishing you a happy and fantastic 2013!
    groetjes, Francina

  11. Hey Sheila,

    So after reading Ocean Victories” I clicked the link to your personal website. When did “Wandering Universes” go up? If I read it before I don’t remember for some reason. I loved it! Especially: “it felt as if universes floated freely between them. It was possible, in a way: the universes of molecules, with their own orbiting electrons. Spinning endlessly around and around, always around the center of something but never fully reaching it, never crashing and melding together.”

    Anyway, typing with one hand is a pain in the butt, so…

    Hope you guys had a great Christmas! Love you!

    • Hey Mike! Thanks so much – I’m glad you liked it – that really means a lot to me. It went up a few months ago. It was the only short story I submitted all year since I’ve been working on the book instead, but I’ll have to do more short stories in the new year. I hope your hand feels better and will send the book out to you today. Hope you guys have a happy new year! I’ll try giving you a call tomorrow to wish you a happy new year in person. Love you!

  12. It’s such a relief to see this commitment to something as precious as our oceans. I’ll be following Oceana now – what great work they’re doing.

  13. These are wonderful news ! We have to stop thinking we can’t do nothing. Thanks for sharing these good news 🙂

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