Environmental Initiatives

Recent Progress

  • Shark Conservation Gets a Boost in Europe

    The Pew coordinated Shark Alliance coalition welcomed the long-awaited proposal today from the European Commission for closing the loopholes in the European Union (EU) shark finning ban.

  • Over 170 Marine Scientists Raise Concerns About Poor Protection

    More than 170 marine scientists from Australia and overseas have joined together to raise concerns that critical areas for marine life in the South West of Australia have been ignored in a Federal Government plan for new marine parks.

  • Former Australians of the Year Call for Sanctuaries to Protect Marine Life

    Four former Australians of the Year have written to the Prime Minister to call for urgent action to protect South West marine life from the threats of over fishing and potential oil spills. Key areas needing protection include Perth Canyon, Geographe Bay near Bunbury, Abrolhos Islands near Geraldton and nearby Kangaroo Island.

  • European Commission Proposes a Reform to the Common Fisheries Policy

    The European Commission took a step in the right direction when they proposed a major fisheries fix to Council and Parliament. The proposal included solid targets for the recovery of European fish stocks and the creation of a market in fishing rights.

  • Pew Calls for Obama Administration to Raise MPG Standards

    With the launch of a new video, the Pew Clean Energy Program hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of increasing the fuel efficiency—or miles-per-gallon (MPG)—standards for cars and light trucks to as high as 60 MPG by 2025.

  • Wind Helps Power Arkansas' Clean Energy Economy

    Former Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, senior adviser to the Clean Energy Program, visited Little Rock to kick off a national campaign to highlight how clean energy policies can help create jobs, stimulate innovation, spur private investment and enhance America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy race.

  • Global Clean Energy Investment Reaches Record $243 Billion for 2010

     Global clean energy finance and investment grew significantly in 2010 to $243 billion, a 30 percent increase from the previous year.

  • Governor Granholm Joins Pew to Champion Clean Energy Policy

    As of March 23, 2011, former Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm will serve as a senior advisor in the efforts to promote clean energy policies that create jobs, stimulate innovation, spur investment and enhance America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy race.

  • United Nations to Scrutinize Neglected Action Plan for Shark Conservation

    In February 2011, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Committee on Fisheries (UN FAO COFI) agreed to examine the extent that the International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks (IPOA-Sharks) had been implemented.

  • Northern Marianas Moves Against Shark Fins

    In January 2011, The Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands banned the possession, sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins, spurring discussion of similar legislation in Guam and further building momentum for shark conservation in the Pacific region.

  • New Standards for Drilling and Worker Protection

    The Obama administration has issued new standards for offshore drilling and worker protection.

  • Nine Species Saved

    We worked with fishery managers on a plan to save nine dwindling species, including the critically imperiled Warsaw grouper, which can weigh up to 400 pounds and grow to eight feet but whose population has plummeted to just six percent of healthy levels.

  • U.S. Congress Passes Shark Conservation Act

    In December 2010, the U.S. Shark Conservation Act passed both the Senate and the House and was signed into law by President Obama in January 2011.

  • EU Advances Protection for Sharks and Rays

    Since its creation in 2006, the Shark Alliance has promoted protection measures for vulnerable sharks and rays in Europe.

  • Red Snapper Get a Break

    Our team helped ensure passage of a strong long-term recovery plan for red snapper–an iconic southeast species that had plummeted to a critically low population level.
  • National Marine Park in Lancaster Sound Moves Forward

    In December 2010, Canada’s environment minister took a major step towards protecting Lancaster Sound by proposing boundaries for the Arctic’s first national marine conservation area that would encompass almost 45,000 square kilometers – or twice the size of Lake Erie.

  • Better Research Promised for Pacific Ocean Shark Fisheries

    In December 2010, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission passed an improved research plan for better reporting of shark catches and monitoring of the data to track what species are being caught and whether their status is imperiled.

  • Oceanic Whitetip and Hammerhead Sharks Protected in the Atlantic Ocean

    In November 2010, the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) adopted a ban on the retention of any oceanic whitetip sharks, a ban on the retention of any hammerhead sharks caught in ICCAT fisheries, and data collection requirements for shortfin mako sharks.

  • Blueprint to Protect the Future of Australia's Oceans Unveiled

    A science based blueprint for managing Australia's oceans, which provides the federal government with a detailed roadmap to make accurate decisions about it plans for new marine sanctuaries, was developed to safeguard marine life and protect economic and social interests.

  • EU Fisheries Subsidies Revealed in New Online Mapping Tool

    The Pew Environment Group’s European Marine Programme initiated and is supporting www.fishsubsidy.org, a website that allows decision makers and the public to see in detail how and where EU fishing subsidies have been spent.

  • Honduran and Palauan Presidents Challenge the World to Save Sharks

    In September 2010, Palauan President Toribiong and Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa signed an official declaration challenging world leaders to prohibit shark fishing in their countries’ waters (Honduras declared a full moratorium on shark fishing in February 2010).

  • 28,500 People Call on EU Fisheries Commissioner to Put Environment First

    The Pew-led OCEAN2012 coalition bolstered support for a strong reform of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) by presenting 25,859 petition signatures to EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, calling on her to prioritize the health of the marine environment in the CFP reform.

  • Mind the Gaps! RFMO Port State Measures Need Work

    Research results on the gaps in RFMO measures to combat illegal fishing through port State measures were presented at the annual meetings of key RFMOs

  • Research Results Presented at Key RFMO Meetings to Advocate for Strengthening of Port State Measures

    • Sep 01, 2010

    Presentation of our research results at the annual meetings of key RFMOs to advocate for the strengthening of their port State measures in line with the PSMA.

  • Herring Fishery Management Plan

    The New England Fishery Management Council is currently developing a plan to improve oversight and reduce bycatch in the fishery.

  • MAFMC Establishes Annual Catch Limits

    In August 2010, the MAFMC became the first council in the nation to commit to establishing annual catch limits and accountability measures in their managed fish stocks.

  • Rebuilding Plan for Summer Flounder

    The summer flounder, an iconic Mid-Atlantic fish known on the water as fluke, is currently under a rebuilding plan to return the population to healthy levels after decades of overfishing.

  • Oil-Related Seismic Testing Stopped in Lancaster Sound

    In summer 2010, the campaign worked with Inuit groups to question the federal government’s plans for oil-related seismic testing in Lancaster Sound.

  • The CLEAR Act

    On July 30, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act, a bill that would fundamentally transform our nation's approach to oil and gas extraction off our coasts.

  • New U.S. National Ocean Policy to Help Safeguard Economy

    The White House announces the creation of a unifying ocean policy that will protect key natural resources and ensure that sustainability will drive future economic activities offshore and close to shore.

  • Operating Your Port to Combat IUU Fishing

    Countries implementing the Port State Measures Agreement need the tools to do so.

  • Launch of PSMA Implementation Toolkit and Publication of CNA Report

    • Jul 01, 2010

    Launch of the PSMA implementation toolkit and publication of the report,  “A Methodology for Capacity Needs Assessments towards implementation of the Port State Measures Agreement.”

  • Good News for Pollock

    In June of 2010, new science revealed that pollock was not overfished and overfishing was not occurring.

  • The Science of Port State Performance

    The results of two years of intensive research were published in the highly respected and peer-reviewed journal Science.

  • Science Magazine Publishes Results of Port State Performance Research

    • Jun 01, 2010

    Publication of article on results of research on port State performance as a policy forum piece in Science magazine.

  • Arctic Offshore Drilling Delayed

    In March 2010, President Obama decided not to offer new oil and gas leases in 107,812 square miles of the U.S. Arctic Ocean until at least 2012, and ordered reviews of scientific research and oil spill response.

  • Look out! Gaps in Port State Performance

    We presented our cutting-edge analysis of the measures adopted and gaps that remain for comprehensive port State measures to be addressed by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, at the UN Fish Stocks Review Conference.

  • Pew-led Coalition Brings Together Stakeholders in European Fisheries Policy Reform

    Since June 2009, the Pew-led OCEAN2012 coalition has engaged decision-makers and stakeholders in the reform of the Europe Union’s Common Fisheries Policy at all levels.

  • Research on Port State Performance and Gap Analysis Presented at UN Fish Stocks Review Conference

    • May 01, 2010

    Presentation of our research on port State performance and on a gap analysis of port State measures adopted by RFMOs at the UN Fish Stocks Review Conference, along with policy recommendations.

  • Sector Management Improving for New England Groundfish

    May 1, 2010, marked the beginning of new sector management for New England’s groundfish fleet.

  • United Nations Commits to Stronger Shark Research and Better Shark Fin Bans

    In May 2010, the United Nations Fish Stocks Review Conference final recommendations included  the need to collect species-specific data for shark species caught in both directed shark fisheries or as accidental catch in other fisheries, conducting biological assessments that drive conservation and management measures for these sharks, and strengthening enforcement of existing prohibitions on shark finning -- including requiring that sharks be landed with their fins naturally attached (the most effective way of preventing shark finning).

  • Scientists Question Colorado Forest Plan

    A week after the Obama administration issued a statement in support of a State of Colorado proposal to open areas within 4.4 million acres of roadless national forest to new coal mining and oil and gas development, more than 500 scientists from across the country called on the Obama administration to stand behind the national roadless rule.

  • Fuel Efficiency Standards Rased by Obama Administration

    • Apr 01, 2010

    In 2007, President Bush signed into law the first increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in more than 30 years.  

  • Bristol Bay Protected Until 2017

    In March 2010, President Obama withdrew Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the national offshore energy plan, protecting the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run and 52,234 square miles from offshore drilling until 2017.

  • Introduction of the Global Conservation Act

    The Alliance for Global Conservation has had numerous successes, including the introduction of the bipartisan Global Conservation Act in both the U.S. House and Senate.

  • Maldives Creates Indian Ocean Shark Sanctuary

    In March 2010, the Maldives announced a ban on shark fishing in its entire exclusive economic zone, providing protection to sharks in 923,000 square kilometers of the Indian Ocean.

  • Video Reveals Underwater Marvels of Western Australia's Southern Waters

    Using a combination of innovative technologies, the Save Our Marine Life alliance released a video that captured the stunning marine life of the relatively unknown underwater canyons and submerged mountain ranges of Western Australia's southern waters.

  • European Union Adopts New Regulation to Ensure Compliance with the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy

    The European Marine Programme supported the adoption by the EU of a Control Regulation that establishes a Community system for control, inspection and enforcement in order to ensure compliance with the rules of the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy.

  • European Fisheries Protect Porbeagles, Spurdogs and Deep Sea Sharks

    In December, 2009, as a result of the Shark Alliance’s advocacy efforts to ensure proper implementation of the CPOA, the European fishery for porbeagle, considered Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, was closed and science based fishing limits were adopted for spurdog and deep-sea sharks.

  • EU Ends Fisheries for Endangered Sharks

    The European fishery for porbeagle, considered Critically Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, was closed in December 2009, as a result of advocacy efforts by the Pew-led Shark Alliance to ensure proper implementation of the EU action plan for sharks.

  • First Steps for Lancaster Sound

    In December 2009, the federal government signed an agreement with the government of Nunavut and an Inuit organization to work toward a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound.

  • Safe Harbor Ahead! We Have an Agreement

    The first legally binding fisheries agreement since the mid-1990s was agreed at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

  • New England Council Protects Atlantic Herring

    In November 2009, the New England Fishery Management Council used the best science available to set lower catch levels for the Atlantic herring fishery.

  • Big Eye Thresher Sharks Protected in Atlantic Ocean

    In November 2009 at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) annual meeting, member countries agreed to ban the retention and landing of big eye thresher sharks in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • National Marine Fisheries Service Monitors Trawlers

    The National Marine Fisheries Service enacted new monitoring requirements in November 2009 for herring midwater trawlers fishing in protected areas, called groundfish closed areas, off of Cape Cod. These

  • Port State Measures Agreement Adopted

    • Nov 01, 2009

    Adoption of the Agreement on Port State Measures (PDF) to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA) by the Conference of the FAO.

  • UK Acts to End Shark Finning

    The United Kingdom adopted a complete ban on the removal of shark fins on board vessels requiring that sharks are landed with their fins naturally attached.

  • Shark Alliance Welcomes Spanish Protections for Threatened Sharks

    The Pew-led Shark Alliance and its member groups were instrumental in the adoption by Spain of national legislation banning fishing for 11 species of hammerhead and thresher sharks.

  • Palaun President Declares National Shark Sanctuary

    In September 2009 at the United Nations General Assembly, Palauan President Johnson Toribiong declared the waters surrounding Palau as a national shark sanctuary.

  • Arctic Fishery Management Plan Approved

    In August 2009, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke approved the Arctic Fishery Management Plan that closed nearly 200,000 square miles of the U.S. Arctic Ocean north of the Bering Strait to commercial fishing.

  • Roadless Rule Supported in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

    In August 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold a lower court decision reinstating the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

  • Launch of Port State Performance Research Web site

    • Aug 01, 2009

    Launch of the Port State Performance research website – with information on port State performance of countries around the globe.

  • Rebuilding Plan for Bluefish

    A nine-year rebuilding plan for bluefish ended in success.

  • Grand Canyon Gets Reprieve from New Uranium Claims

    Nearly 5 million people will visit the Grand Canyon this year, and while the Canyon itself may be timeless, its surroundings are not.

  • Obama Administration Declares ''Time Out'' for Roadless Areas

    In May 2010, the Obama administration provided a “Time Out” for activities in roadless areas, in response to a call from Pew Environment Group, until conflicts in the court were overcome.

  • Australian Government Takes First Big Step to Protect Coral Sea

    Conservation groups praised Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett's announcement to establish a Conservation Zone over the Coral Sea within Australian waters. Permanent protection of the Coral Sea would make it the largest protected marine area on Earth.

  • Oregon Creates Its First Marine Reserves

    In 2009, Oregon created its first marine reserves at Otter Rock and Redfish Rocks, and selected Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Cape Perpetua and Cape Arago for consideration as future reserves.

  • Conservationists Call on Queensland Parties to Protect Channel Country Rivers

    The Pew Environment Group's Australia Program joined forces with the Australian Floodplains Association, the Cooper’s Creek Protection Group and the Wilderness Society to seek support from political parties for the permanent protection of river waters in the Channel Country from over extraction and pollution.

  • EU Commits to Action Plan for Shark Conservation

    In February 2009, the Pew-led Shark Alliance coalition and its member groups played an instrumental role in pushing through the European Commission’s Community Plan of Action for sharks (CPOA), which includes commitments to strengthen the EU finning regulation, implement science-based fishing limits and protect endangered shark and ray species. 

  • Sharks Get a Lifeline Through New EU Action Plan

    The Pew-led Shark Alliance coalition and its member groups played an instrumental role in the European Commission’s adoption of the Community Plan of Action for sharks (CPOA), which includes commitments to strengthen the EU shark finning regulation, implement science-based fishing limits and protect endangered shark and ray species.

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