Saving the Fish

Following 30 years of misguided European policy, the European Union’s fish stocks were in trouble: Two-thirds were overfished, and 1.7 million tons of eatable fish (roughly 23 percent of all fish caught in the EU) were being thrown back into the sea — dead. Something had to change quickly, or else fish would disappear from the seas, and people’s plates.

BalticSea2020 worked to raise awareness of the issue and advance legislation to save the fish. The reform of the European Fisheries Policy, which happens every 10 years, was an ideal opportunity for the foundation to ensure Europe radically would change its policy – and follow the advice of scientists – to rebuild fish stocks for a sustainable environment and industry. But the issue was very technical and seemingly low-interest. So using simple – but direct – storytelling and design, BalticSea2020 launched an integrated political campaign spanning across advocacy, media outreach and digital communication.

Politicians took notice. And when it was time to vote, the campaign resulted in a victorious vote — 502 to 137 — paving the way for a sustainable future for EU fisheries, including the adoption of a discard ban and the restoration of fish stocks to a sustainable level.