The Black Fish joined a collective of NGOs and artisanal fishermen, who stopped the approval of electric pulse fishing in all European waters by extensive policy work in the EU parliament in Brussels.
The Black Fish joined a collective of international NGOs calling for urgent and swift changes to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification standard in order to uphold the scientific rigor, transparency, and original vision of the seafood label as the ‘gold standard of sustainability’. The collective sent an open letter to the MSC, which listed all complaints and demands and released the campaign website.
The Black Fish Germany carried out inspections of five different German port locations at the Baltic Sea. These investigations lay the foundation of our work on the Baltic coast of Germany, as we were able to identify suitable locations from which we will operate from in the near future. Watch the video of our campaign here.
The Black Fish ran a Citizen Inspector Training in London, UK. Nine participants from three different European countries joined the workshop and successfully graduated as Citizen Inspectors.
A Citizen Inspector training took place in Hamburg (Germany), qualifying 12 new people from different European countries as Citizen Inspectors.
The booklet Deserted Ocean, filled with colourful infographics on the ocean, overfishing and aquaculture, was designed by the German illustrator Sarah Katharina Heuzeroth and published by The Black Fish.
The Black Fish’s work expanded further and in April the officially registered charity The Black Fish Deutschland e.V. was founded in Bremen, Germany.
In September the “Voice for the Ocean Tour“ ran over three weeks across 16 German cities. The public events reached more than 400 people and raised essential funding to kick-start The Black Fish‘s network in Germany.
Two Citizen Inspector trainings in the UK and Germany trained the first cohort of Citizen Inspectors, consisting of more than 30 people from over 7 different countries.
The Black Fish uncovered the widely spread use of illegal driftnets on Sicily, which were banned by the UN and EU years before. Fishermen exploited a new legal loophole by adding metal rings to their nets, arguing that the illegal driftnets on their vessels are instead surrounding nets, used to catch smaller species.
An investigative campaign in the Mediterranean Sea looked into the illegal deployment of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) and confiscated as many of them at sea as fuel budgets allowed.
The Black Fish launched a series of civilian night patrols around the English coast to track shellfish poaching. Shellfish poaching is a multi-million dollar black market trade, threatening shellfish populations, exploiting migrant workers and fuelling organised crime.
All investigative campaigns of The Black Fish were brought together in the Citizen Inspector Network, which was launched in 2014. From this point on The Black Fish offers training courses to ordinary people wanting to get directly involved.
Together with the NGO Fin Fighters the organization investigated the illegal finning of sharks in multiple ports in Morocco: https://vimeo.com/103052504
The Black Fish carried out multiple inspections in Swedish fishing ports in August and found multiple illegally modified trawl nets in the norwegian lobster fisheries, which enable fishers to illegally catch cod fish: https://vimeo.com/113810952
The Black Fish run a Baltic wide speaking tour to rally public support for action to conserve the Baltic Sea with 14 free public events in 8 different countries.
In November The Black Fish carried out a series of sea patrols off the North coast of Sicily, Italy. Over 300 illegal Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) were observed in a relatively small area of sea and a number of devices were confiscated until the available fuel budget was exhausted.
The Black Fish published a report, The Illegal Fishing and Organized Crime Nexus: Illegal Fishing as Organized Crime, which was presented at the 13th United Nations Crime Congress in Doha.
Multiple investigation on Sicily brought up the urgent need of investigating illegal driftnet use, dynamite fishing and the landing of undersized fish. The campaign received widespread media attention and collected evidence was presented to the European Commision.
The Black Fish ran a six week long speaking tour across the UK to raise awareness of illegal overfishing and to rally support for its upcoming campaigns in Europe. At over 30 public events across the country, the team met over 2000 people in colleges, universities, community centres, libraries and pubs.
A team of 32 internationally acclaimed animators produced the short film Losing Nemo, was released on World Oceans Day and has since won various film prizes and viewed online by 200.000+ people: https://vimeo.com/66514539.
The first monitoring campaign into illegal fishing activities was done in Croatia in July. From that day on the focus of The Black Fish’s work was on the overfishing and illegal farming of tuna. The majority of all following campaigns were located in the Mediterranean.
The Black Fish ran a two week long speaking tour across England to raise awareness about the damage caused by industrial overfishing and to rally public support for a new approach to marine conservation.
The organization published the book The Bluefin Bonanza documenting the lucrative illegal tuna trade.
The volunteer network of the organization began to expand and the plea of The Black Fish to safeguard the future of an healthy ocean was reaching a much bigger audience.
The Black Fish was founded by a group of young conservationists, who previously worked for Greenpeace, Earth First and other NGOs. After an initial year of working on marine mammals in captivity, The Black Fish shifted its attention towards the issue of overfishing.