Our History

Our History

National Coalition for Marine Conservation LogoFor over 45 years, Wild Oceans (formerly the National Coalition for Marine Conservation or NCMC) has been bringing people together to make sure there will always be plenty of fish in the sea. Whether you enjoy fishing or simply love the ocean, you’ve benefited from our long history of accomplishments.

We’ve been setting the national agenda for fish conservation since 1973 and our experience, long track record of achievement and willingness to take tough stands backed by the facts, have earned us an influential role in shaping national fisheries policy.

WO_quotes4We built an unprecedented network of ocean stakeholders to strengthen federal law to end overfishing and restore depleted populations of fish. We played a leading role in the recovery of once-threatened species like striped bass and Atlantic swordfish. We closed large areas of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to drift nets and longlines, saving many thousands of threatened billfish, sharks and sea turtles from this deadly gear. And we energized a national movement to protect menhaden, herring and other prey fish, the foundation for all life at the top of the food chain, including us.

Since our early days, we’ve recognized that fishing in wild oceans, where billfish, sharks and tunas roam, requires us to fish conservatively, to avoid indiscriminate gears that harm other species, and to preserve open-ocean habitat and the prey base they need to survive. Whether it’s conserving large ocean predators (READ OUR LONG LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS BRINGING BACK THE BIG FISH) or protecting the prey base (READ ABOUT OUR LEADING ROLE IN MAKING FORAGE FISH CONSERVATION A NATIONAL PRIORITY) that supports all life above it on the food chain, we’ve initiated and/or been a driving force behind many of the most significant actions taken to keep the oceans wild and full of fish, big and small. Wild Oceans continues our proven formula for success: keeping conservation the number one objective; working with a diverse alliance of groups in common cause whenever possible; and choosing issues that establish precedent and principle for long- lasting change – for the fish, the wild world we are both a part of, and the future of fishing.


A World Without Fish

Man and fish have been linked since the beginning of time. So much so that a world without fish would be unthinkable…

Learn about the history of our conservation programs through this two-part video documentary detailing our efforts to Bring Back the Big Fish and Protect the Prey Base.

Part 1: Save Ocean Predators


Part 2: Save Their Prey