Satirical Video Criticises EU Fisheries Ministers Role in Overfishing


Brussels, December 13, 2018:- Ahead of next week’s gathering of EU fisheries ministers in Brussels, the Our Fish campaign has released a satirical animation lampooning the annual EU ritual of all-night deal-making and continued overfishing.

The provocative video highlights the opaque deals on annual fishing limits and agreements made by EU fisheries ministers to fish beyond scientific advice – in other words, overfishing – during the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting, which will run from Monday 17 to 18th December – and if earlier years are any indication, into the early hours of Wednesday 19th.

The video, Staying Up All Night To Get Fish (Quota), commissioned by campaign group Our Fish, and created by filmmaker Daniel Bird, depicts a lack of transparency in how quotas are decided, with fisheries ministers disappearing into during all-night meetings held the sound of booming techno, only to emerge in a haphazard conga-line, celebrating their agreement to keep overfishing – and ignoring the limits advised by scientists. Meanwhile a group of disillusioned EU citizens are left standing outside.

The video – also available in German, Dutch and Danish versions, is part of a drive by Our Fish to add to over 350,000 petition signatures collected in support of an end to EU overfishing [1]. This week, Our Fish asked supporters to write to Commissioner Karmenu Vella and EU fisheries ministers, asking them to end overfishing during the December Council meeting.

Currently over 40% of North East Atlantic fish stocks are still overfished, despite the EU committing to ending overfishing by 2015, or by 2020 at the latest – experts have said that at this rate, the EU will not meet the 2020 deadline [2]. The introduction of the ban on discarding fish at sea, or throwing unwanted fish back (called the landing obligation), is also being rejected by industry interests, who for the most part have refused to change their discarding behaviour [3].

“If you can have a stick-man documentary, this is it”, said Daniel Bird, of Wit & Wisdom, the creator of the animation. “To begin with I’d actually wanted to make a humorous comparison of the AGRIFISH meeting with the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment, in that the meeting takes place inside a closed box, the process within sealed from observers. But I dropped the idea because in this case, there’s no uncertainty in the outcome.”

“With annual repetition, the science is often ignored, and the disappointment for anyone with the slightest interest for the future of our oceans is guaranteed. So I just made the film as a simple facsimile of events. The only variance from reality is the banners of the protesters changing to show the fate of the oceans. Hopefully we can get enough signatories to show these ministers that the public are watching them, and that they better start thinking long-term.”



Staying Up All Night To Get Fish (Quota) is also available in German, Dutch and Danish:


[1] Three petitions collected since October 2017, have collected over 350,000 signatures from EU citizens:

[2] Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) – Monitoring the performance of the Common Fisheries Policy (STECF-Adhoc-18-01). Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018.

[3] Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) – 57th Plenary Meeting Report (PLEN-18-01); Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018.


Dave Walsh, Our Fish Communications Advisor, +34 691826764

Rebecca Hubbard, Our Fish Program Director, +34 657669425


About Our Fish

Our Fish works to ensure European member states implement the Common Fisheries Policy and achieve sustainable fish stocks in European waters.

Our Fish works with organisations and individuals across Europe to deliver a powerful and unwavering message: overfishing must be stopped, and solutions put in place that ensure Europe’s waters are fished sustainably. Our Fish demands that the Common Fisheries Policy be properly enforced, and Europe’s fisheries effectively governed.

Our Fish calls on all EU Member States to set annual fishing limits at sustainable limits based on scientific advice, and to ensure that their fishing fleets prove that they are fishing sustainably, through monitoring and full documentation of their catch.


Follow Our Fish on Twitter: @our_fish