On Monday, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius received a framed picture by acclaimed Spanish street artists Boa Mistura, signed by over 3,400 EU citizens, who are calling for urgent action to end over-exploitation and save the ocean to save the climate.
In November, the image appeared on a nine-story high apartment building in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Commissioner’s hometown, calling on him to take the lead in ending EU destructive and over-fishing and restore the health of the ocean.
Our Fish delivered a print of Boa Mistura’s Heartbeat of the Ocean to the Commissioners responsible for our ocean and climate – Commissioner Sinkevičius and Executive Vice President Timmermans – as a reminder that the ocean is the beating heart of the planet, and Europeans depend on them to turn words into action. Right now, the EU Commission is drafting its Ocean Action Plan, which is a critical opportunity for Commissioner Sinkevičius to protect our ocean and restore its health.
The EU has signed up to the Leaders Nature Pledge and signed off on the EU Climate Law, but these promises and laws amount to nothing, if everyday decisions continue to wreak havoc on our fish populations, ocean ecosystems, and the climate. We are killing the ocean from fishing too hard and too fast in pursuit of short term profits of a few. This narrow-minded, short-term view overlooks and undermines the ocean’s capacity to store carbon, provide food, be resilient to warming waters, and fight climate change. This artwork, and the support of thousands of Europeans, are calling for urgent action from EU Commissioner Sinkevičius and Vice President Timmermans to save the ocean to save the climate.
Earlier in February, Boa Mistura published an open letter to Commissioner Sinkevičius calling on him to take the lead in ending EU destructive and over-fishing and restore the health of the ocean.