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Stars get naked for the love of fish

June 13, 2018

Big-name stars are getting their kits off to send the message that European waters are being drastically overfished, which is putting marine ecosystems under threat and could even take food off our plates.

Fishlove Fotoprojekt - Gillian Anderson
Image: Fishlove/D. Rouvre

This week, a report by scientific advisors to the European Union confirmed once again what has become a familiar story: European waters are being overfished, and the situation remains "very worrying" for fish populations in Mediterranean and Black Sea in particular.

European governments have set themselves a deadline of 2020 to maintain fish stocks at healthy levels. But there seems little prospect of reaching that goal.

Favorites like cod, plaice and herring are all under pressure. Even fish that don't appeal to our taste buds are at risk.

Some are caught inadvertently alongside commercial species. Others find themselves short of a meal due to overfishing of the animals they prey on. And then there are trawlers that churn up the seabed, disrupting all kinds of marine life.

Yet the plight these scaly creatures doesn't tend to elicit the emotional response we have to more photogenic animals – the giant panda or African elephant, say.

So, how better to draw attention to the issue that sexing it up with naked celebrities?

The Fishlove campaign is doing just that – recruiting big-name stars in the hope we'll all start paying more attention to the failures of the dreary-sounding Common Fisheries Policy.  

The campaign has been running since 2009. But we're yet to see if the headlines it's generated will have a positive impact on Europe's marine ecosystems.