Oceana Statement on Bloomberg Announcement of New Partnership to Increase Ocean Exploration and Protection

Press Release Date

October 29, 2018

We are incredibly proud that Oceana is part of the new partnership of Bloomberg Philanthropies for Phase II of Vibrant Oceans. In the Philippines, under the first phase of Vibrant Oceans Initiative, Oceana has been promoting science-based policies on fisheries management and strong compliance with fishery and environmental laws at the national, regional and local level. We have created awareness on the policy reforms and initiatives to pave the way for sustainable fisheries management and the full implementation of the Fisheries Code.

Our campaign in Tañon Strait, the biggest marine protected area in the Philippines, has led to a government crackdown on commercial fishers encroaching on municipal waters and to investment in police boats for enforcement against illegal fishing. Oceana pushed for the creation and designation of Special Prosecutors in Tañon Strait who filed dozens of cases against illegal fishers and, in partnership with Rare, organized the mayors of municipalities in Tañon Strait to urge the national government to fund enforcement in their municipalities.

With this new investment, Oceana will scale up its anti-illegal fishing campaign to effectively eliminate commercial fishing vessels from illegally fishing in municipal waters throughout the Philippines. We will provide more technical support to the national government in the full implementation of the fisheries law, including the implementation of the fisheries law compliance audit of local government units and the promulgation of rules to require vessel monitoring for all commercial fishing vessels and to establish fishery management areas to regulate catches and fishing activity. We will also campaign against planned illegal dump and fill projects that could harm coral ecosystems and work to establish a new coral-rich marine protected area.

This new partnership underscores that it takes scale to deliver global ocean abundance for the future. Bloomberg Philanthropies is changing the way we think about saving the oceans. Broad international agreements tend toward lowest common denominator goals and weak enforcement mechanisms, but the Vibrant Oceans Initiative has supercharged a country-bycountry approach that achieves tangible, concrete policy victories. National laws do have teeth and make real impact.

The model Bloomberg Philanthropies has pioneered reforms and empowered communities that are replicable for other causes around the world. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative has embraced the potential of a rebuilt ocean to help feed the world. Conservation and food security can actually work together. A healthy, well-managed ocean could help feed more than a billion people in a way that is truly sustainable.