Video: Jellyfish and chips, anyone?

Posted by jossc — 23 September 2009 at 11:26am - Comments

Those of us who've been trying to make sense of what sort of impact destructive overfishing is having on marine life know things are bad - when you have a global fleet with the capacity to catch every edible thing in our oceans four times over, patchy regulations at best, and a massive incentive for fishermen to catch the most valuable species quickly before someone else fishes them out - it's not surprising many fish stocks are in trouble.

But because all this is happening under water, largely 'out of sight and out of mind' of our daily lives, it's a situation that can be all too easily ignored. Which is why we need storytellers to help us visualise what's happening and understand the potential consequences, and why Greenpeace recently asked the wonderful cartoonist Stephen Appelby (and his long time writing partner Pete Bishop) to think about what the future of fishing might hold.

His response is a marvellous animation entitled Our Ocean Wonderland. It's a beautifully judged analysis of the twisted logic which drives us as a species to exploit every resource to the point of extinction. It's also hilariously funny and poignant, and an excellent way to explain just what the dangers of overfishing are likely to be to someone who's never thought about the issue. Oh, and this is just the first in a series of three Appelby animations. We'll be posting the others over the next few weeks.

So if there's a special someone in your life who loves fish but doesn't care how they're caught or get on to the plate, do them a favour and show them Our Ocean Wonderland - they need to know about this stuff while there's still time, and collectively we all need to start doing whatever we can to undo the damage.

Take action

And there are two things we can all do right now to start making a difference: the first is to take responsibility to ensure that any seafood we eat comes from sustainable sources - we can show you how to start right here.

And the second is to push our politicians to create international networks of large-scale marine reserves - national parks at sea which are off-limits to all fishing and extractive industries (like dredging, oil and gas drilling). If at least 30% of our oceans were protected in this way, scientists believe that declining fish stocks will start to recover.

We need these reserves now. If we don't act in time, then Stephen Appelby's nightmare vision may be closer to our future reality than we realise. Jellyfish and chips, anyone?

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About Joss

Bass player and backing vox in the four piece beat combo that is the UK Greenpeace Web Experience. In my 6 years here I've worked on almost every campaign and been fascinated by them all to varying degrees. Just now I'm working on Peace and Oceans - which means getting rid of our Trident nuclear weapons system and creating large marine reserves so that marine life can get some protection from overfishing.

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