Celebrities Expose Naked Truth of How Overfishing Continues in European Waters

  • Fishlove: Greta Scacchi with cod by Rankin, 2009
    2009: Fishlove released the first Rankin collection to help promote the documentary "The End of the Line". The series featured Greta Scacchi, Richard E Grant, Terry Gilliam and Emilia Fox. Greta's photograph appeared in every major UK newspaper and became perhaps the first example of a meme, a media sensation around the world. The Observer's Jay Rayner wrote, "In the months and years to come, this picture of Greta Scacchi will doubtless come to be seen as the seminal image when the gruelling, knotty business of campaigning around food issues finally became sexy." Greta was invited to 10 Downing Street to talk to the then Labour government about making fishing more sustainable.

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Watch video tour of exhibition here

Brussels, 6 June 2023:- Global celebrities, who have been photographed naked with fish,  join NGOs today in calling on EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius and all EU governments to finish the job of ending overfishing and deliver a just transition to low-impact and low-carbon fishing for the EU fishing fleet.

Ending EU Overfishing: The Decade Past and the Decade to Come photographic exhibition features 20 Fishlove celebrities from the EU, UK and US – posing naked with fish. The exhibition runs until Friday June 9th in front of the EU Parliament

The exhibition features: Jean-Marc Barr (FR/US), Greta Scacchi (IT/AU), Helena Bonham Carter (UK), Gillian Anderson (UK/US), Judi Dench (UK), Sean Penn (US), Vicky Krieps (LU/DE), the late Rutger Hauer (NL), Mélanie Bernier (FR), Nicolas Bro (DK), Jessie Buckley (IRL), Tom Wlaschiha (DE), Benja Bruijning (NL), Melanie Laurent (FR), Nina Hoss (DE), Giovanni Soldini (IT), Caroline Ducey (FR), Soenil Bahadoer (NL), Natalie Madueno (ES/DK), Emma Thompson (UK).

Other new Fishlove images being made available today include Rainer Bock (DE), Claudia Gerini (IT), Lubna Azabal (MO-FR-BE), Danica Curcic (DK/Serbia) and Lena Melcher (DE) – images can be downloaded here.

In having their portraits taken naked with fish today in Brussels, actors Rainer Bock and Lubna Azabal join a long list of global celebrities who have helped raise awareness of overfishing for a coalition of campaigners since 2009. Unseen Fishlove portraits, among them of Italian actress Claudia Gerini, Georgia Sinicorni  and Spanish celebrity Sergio Muniz, will be on display  during a gala event later today.


Jean-Marc Barr speaks to media at the exhibition

Jean-Marc Barr speaks to media at the exhibition. Download more photos here.

“In my Fishlove portrait, I dance with a dead 75kg mako shark. It is a Dance of Death. But in dancing with one dead fish I hope to have made people realise that all species of shark are in danger. Sharks will disappear from our planet if overfishing doesn’t stop. I hope my image will one day be called a Dance of Life, in a future when we will have changed our ways and saved our oceans and all the creatures that live in them”, said Big Blue/Grand Bleu star Jean-Marc Barr, speaking at the EU Parliament exhibition.

“When I was a child, growing up on the Baltic Sea coast in Northern Germany, there were so many fish in the sea. I’m now 69 and that incredible abundance of ocean life has disappeared. I want this senseless destruction of sea creatures and their habitat to stop. I want to leave this world in the knowledge that fish and our oceans will survive forever,” says Germany’s Rainer Bock (Homeland, The White Ribbon, Better Call Saul), also speaking at the exhibition outside the EU Parliament.

“Fishlove came about because we wanted to draw public attention to the way overfishing is destroying our oceans. Since I had my portrait taken naked with a fish in 2009, Fishlove has become an ever growing visual petition of actors and artists who want to put a stop to the over-exploitation of our seas. The portraits are an attempt to remind us of the interdependence that exists between ourselves and the sea creatures that we are often more comfortable thinking of as alien”, said Italian-Australian actress Greta Scacchi.

She added: “The images demand our attention. They demand an answer from our politicians as to why overfishing is still happening when everyone now knows it is bringing the marine ecosystem to the verge of collapse”.

Ending EU Overfishing: The Decade Past and the Decade to Come – Fishlove Exhibition in Brussels

Fishlove/Our Fish Exhibition in Brussels. Download more photos

Jean-Marc Barr, Greta Scacchi and Rainer Bock are set to attend this evening’s Gala event, along with Commissioner Sinkevičius and Member of European Parliament Ska Keller at the Brussels Museum of Natural Sciences where several Fishlove images will also be on exhibition, including of Georgia Sinicorni (IT) and Sergio Muniz (ES-IT). Details for attending the gala event here.

“For more than a decade, Fishlove portraits have exposed the naked truth on how overfishing continues in European waters. EU fisheries management has improved marginally, but has failed to meet the EU commitment to end overfishing”, says Nicholas Röhl, co-creator with Greta Scacchi of Fishlove. “EU fisheries ministers need to take urgent action now if they are to achieve ecologically diverse, clean and healthy seas as they promised. This must include ending overfishing and protecting at least 30% of our seas”.

“Fish are the carbon engineers of the ocean, providing it with the capacity to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Naked celebrities with fish might seem controversial; but undermining the ocean’s capacity to tackle climate change is far worse”, said Our Fish Programme Director Rebecca Hubbard. “Forthcoming EU leaders have a huge responsibility to start accounting for the full ecological and climate impacts of fishing, and ensuring that the EU is leading the world in transitioning to low impact and low carbon fishing”.

“This evening’s gala event marks the end of six years of the Our Fish campaign, however our colleagues at Oceana, Seas At Risk and ClientEarth will continue to demand political action that responds to the urgency of the planetary crisis we face”, added Hubbard.

“The close of the Our Fish campaign marks the end of a big chapter for ending overfishing, but the story is far from over. The campaign has been instrumental in securing many big wins for both fish and sustainable fisheries, and as we look towards next year’s EU elections we’re raring to fight for the happy ending the seas deserve – ambitious and transformative EU policies that result in healthy fish populations, low-impact fisheries that bring no harm to precious marine ecosystems, and an ocean capable of massive carbon storage,” said Monica Verbeek, Executive Director of Seas At Risk.

“For the last six years, the fight to end overfishing and to rebuild a healthy, abundant ocean has benefitted from the enormous drive of the Our Fish campaign. We look forward to continuing to expose the problem and the public support to end it. In light of the climate and nature crises, protecting and restoring fish populations and other marine life will be essential to secure a liveable planet for all, as well as sustainable seafood for the millions of people who depend on it,” said Vera Coelho, Deputy Vice-President of Oceana in Europe.

“Our Fish campaign has been instrumental in raising awareness about the need to end overfishing to boost our ocean’s capacity to absorb carbon and fight climate change. We are grateful for everything the campaign has achieved so far and look forward to continuing to fight for an ocean full of life, which is able to support all of humanity’s needs – from carbon sink to provider of low impact, low carbon food,” said Elisabeth Druel, Ocean Lead at ClientEarth.




Dave Walsh, Our Fish Communications, +34 691 826 764, press@our.fish

Nicholas Röhl, Fishlove, info@fishlove.co.uk


About Our Fish

Our Fish is working to end overfishing and restore a healthy ocean ecosystem.

By collaborating with others, and deploying robust evidence, we are calling for an end to overfishing as a critical and significant action to address the biodiversity and climate crisis.



About Fishlove

Fishlove was created by Nicholas Röhl and actress Greta Scacchi in 2009 and has collaborated with many ocean campaign groups including Greenpeace, Marine Conservation Foundation, Deep Sea Coalition, Save our Seas, BLOOM and Our Fish. More information about how successful it has been in raising awareness of destructive fishing practices can be found here.