• Location: European Union
  • Partner organizations: Bloom
  • Description: Raising awareness about the need to protect the deep sea
  • Akuo Foundations's role: Financing of two communication campaigns
  • Start date: 2013

Combating deep-sea bottom trawling

Young people with a purpose

For many years, the Bloom association has been raising public awareness about the need to protect the deep sea. In 2013, with the support of numerous political and media personalities, Bloom launched a large-scale awareness-raising campaign to coincide with discussions in Brussels to ban deep-sea bottom trawling.

The Akuo Foundation supported a round-table discussion held on 16 September 2013, in which Euro MPs, politicians and international researchers took part. The event led to wide media coverage of the cause, via reports in the press and on TV news. The Foundation then financed two 110 m² banners strategically installed for one month at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris, through which many Euro MPs travel. During the same period, a cartoon on Pénelope Bagieu's blog created a huge buzz on social media, attracting support from hundreds of thousands of people.

An extraordinary response

Let there be light!

Every week, over 3 million people passed by the banners at the Gare du Nord. At the same time, because of the Pénélope Bagieu cartoon, the number of signatures on Bloom's petition rose from 26,000 to over 853,000.

Given this amazing response, Scapêche – an Intermarché subsidiary that owns six of the nine vessels that carry out deep-sea fishing in France – undertook to stop all fishing below 800m by 2015. Carrefour, Auchan and Casino also promised to stop selling deep-sea species. The European Parliament accidentally rejected the proposed ban on deep-sea bottom trawling, after some MEPs who supported the ban inadvertently voted against the proposal. The vote should have led to a ban on deep-sea bottom trawling in Europe, but the campaign continues.