Oceana was established in 2001 by a group of leading foundations — The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. In 1999, these foundations commissioned a study and discovered that less than 0.5 percent of all resources spent by environmental nonprofit groups in the United States went to ocean advocacy — an appalling statistic. No organization was working exclusively to protect and restore the oceans on a global scale. To fill the gap, our founders created Oceana: an international organization focused solely on oceans, dedicated to achieving measurable change by conducting specific, science-based campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals.
The Ocean Law Project — also initiated by The Pew Charitable Trusts — was absorbed into Oceana in 2001 as Oceana’s legal arm. In 2002, Oceana merged with American Oceans Campaign, founded by actor and environmentalist Ted Danson, to more effectively address our common mission of protecting and restoring the world’s oceans.
Since its founding, Oceana has won more than 100 victories and protected more than one million square miles of ocean.
Oceana seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world's marine life.
Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Our offices around the world work together to win strategic, directed campaigns that achieve measurable outcomes that will help make our oceans more bio diverse and abundant.
Oceans cover 71 percent of the globe, and they are as important to us as they are vast. Our oceans are home to most of the life on our planet and play a central role in the world's natural systems, like regulating our climate and absorbing carbon dioxide. They provide livelihoods to countless fishermen and others around the world. They also feed hundreds of millions of people and have the capacity to provide a healthy seafood meal to a billion people, every day. Unfortunately, the oceans are in trouble — scientists report that the amount of fish caught from the oceans began declining — for the first time in recorded history — just a few decades ago. Fortunately, we know how to fix things. Science-based fishery management — which establishes science-based catch limits, reduces bycatch and protects habitat — is helping the oceans rebound and recover where it is established. Oceana is dedicated to advocating for science-based fishery management and restoring the world's oceans.
We envision a future where the world's oceans are filled with life. Where enormous schools of anchovies, sardines and other fish are common sights. Where marlins, sharks and tuna roam the seas in large numbers; where coral gardens, sea-grass meadows and other ocean landscapes thrive and sustain its life; where dolphins, whales and sea turtles flourish; where local fishing cultures and economies blossom rather than decline; and where seafood is a healthy and plentiful source of food for hundreds of millions of people.