Since Earthjustice's Oceans Program was founded in 1998, we’ve played a key role in enforcing domestic laws to compel better stewardship of the oceans.
Through our legal work in the courts and advocacy to government agencies and Congress, we’ve established important precedents to ensure the federal government is managing our nation’s marine resources more sustainably.
We continue to build on that work by defending and improving environmental laws and regulations that safeguard marine habitats, protecting keystone species both within and outside our borders, and ensuring that fisheries management accounts for the needs of marine ecosystems.
Protecting Forage Fish, Sharks, and Whales
We’re focused on reforming fishery management from a system that maximizes extraction to one that takes care of marine wildlife and ecosystems.
We work to ensure that marine predators like salmon, sharks, seabirds, sea lions, whales, and many more have enough to eat by advocating for ecosystem-based catch limits, which would protect both the forage fish, and the many species that rely on them. We also work to protect apex predators and ecosystem engineers — such as sharks and whales — that are important for the wellbeing of all marine species and resilient marine ecosystems.
Ending Offshore Fossil Fuel Development
We’re fighting to stop offshore fossil fuel development, while finding new ways to help our ocean ecosystems become more resilient to damage caused by climate change.
We’re focused on stopping new and expanded offshore oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico region — and reversing the harms and safety risks caused by existing development.
Protecting Ocean Wildlife Across Borders
We’re building international partnerships to protect ocean wildlife. We’re also advocating to strengthen our domestic laws that impact international fishing activities and internationally fished species, including Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, to include more robust protections.
We currently approach this work through the lens of sharks, which are essential to healthy ocean ecosystems, but face a myriad of threats including overfishing.