Our Ocean Adventure

January 14, 2022

Our Ocean Adventure

By Giulio Carini

On a cold Monday morning in December, this dedicated community got a European Commissioner out of his office and down to street level to respond to our demands to protect our ocean and climate.

To get noticed we needed something to stand out. And small donations across this community poured in to make this happen.

With this support, activists and artists from WeMove and partners dressed as Jacques Cousteau, spent hours building a giant colourful pop-up, and made a smaller pop-up to deliver to the Ocean Commissioner Sinkevičius himself.

The pop-up tells the story of how you and more than 150,000 people want a healthy future for our ocean. [1] A future that can’t exist if we don’t ban the most destructive fishing practice known as bottom-trawling, where massive nets scrape the ocean floor destroying everything and killing marine animals. [2]

Sinkevičius responded saying “it’s something we must deliver on.” [3] And that the book will be a constant reminder for him to take action as the Commission prepares the Ocean Action Plan in 2022! [4] He’ll even give the book to his children.

Together we also grabbed headlines in many languages and across the whole of Europe! From Le Monde, the European Commission media review, to the Irish Examiner, and Handelsblatt. [5]

And thanks to the power of this community we took over the front pages of Politico. By each chipping in a little, thousands of us ensured we had the resources to move fast and buy the ad space needed. Politico is plastered throughout the offices of EU decision makers, so politicians including Sinkevičius could see it as they shuffled to meetings or took a coffee break.

As a community we continued to pile up the pressure. We sent more than 40,000 emails to Sinkevičius and the other relevant Commissioner, Vice President for the Green New Deal, Frans Timmermans, demanding a ban on bottom-trawling in the Ocean Action Plan.

I’m now more hopeful than ever that the EU will turn the tide on destructive fishing and have healthy, thriving and resilient seas.

But we’re not going to stop anytime soon. From now until Spring 2022, we’ll be following the discussion on the Ocean Action Plan every step of the way to see that promises and pledges lead to action. Watch this space!

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Headlines in Euronews and The Brussels Times including with our campaigner Giulio Carini speaking to a crowd at the stunt. And MEPs came to lock-in their support for the campaign.
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