Greenpeace: Polar bears Vs Fish
Richard Lemmer | 04.07.12
In a fight between a polar bear and a fish, it‘s no real contest. And this applies whether the fight is for survival or just public attention. Polar bears are the mascots of climate change activists the world over. Cute, cuddly and close to becoming homeless thanks to CO2 emissions, they have become a ready emblem for our climate crisis.
Greenpeace’s latest video features a homeless polar bear wandering the streets of London, sniffing at plastic fish and car exhausts, whilst Thom Yorke of Radiohead sings and Jude Law narrates. The video has been live for two days and has over 15,000 views. Greenpeace’s video on sustainable fishing has been live for over a month and has 8,000 views. Polar bears shine on, while the fish swim out of sight.
But Greenpeace’s ‘Be A Fisherman’s Friend’ campaign has taken a dry subject (a little ironic given its place in the natural world) and given it a human face. The EU’s Maximum Sustainable Yield model of the Common Fisheries Policy may not sound like a day at the beach, but it has big implications for the fish & chip shops that line our sea sides. At the moment, large corporations can afford to discard fish, completely de-populate fish stocks and cut out sustainable fishermen. Small boats make up over 70% of the UK fishing fleet, but they are given just 4% of the allocated fishing quota.
Greenpeace knows this can’t go on, and its campaign rises to the challenge. We get to understand how important sustainable business is not just to the environment, but to the individuals who depend on the environment for a living. “It is the green way of fishing,“ one fisherman explains, but skewed economic policy means the next generation of fishermen are not able to sustain the tradition. To change this, members of the public can join the campaign by signing the petition, sharing the video and using social media to show their engagement. Greenpeace has even provided a campaign theme tune in the form of a sea shanty.
Whilst the polar bear may be the emblem of climate change, the small boat fisherman is a worthy emblem for sustainable business. They have to work within nature’s means to ensure the next generation have a livelihood. And as the Guardian has reported, this method can be much more profitable. So make sure you join the campaign.
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