a bloody fishy business joao-daniel-pereira

At 3pm today Ocean Rebellion, ahead of COP Ocean day, sent in the ‘fishy business detectives’ to highlight the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) continued support of corrupt and destructive industrial fishing.

The Fish Detectives, wearing pinstripe suits and fish head masks oozing blood and viscera, stood in a pool of blood and dead fish with the COP26 compound in the background. The Fish Detectives carried their evidence in briefcases labelled MSC CERTIFIED LIES, WAR ON FISH and ECOCIDE.

a bloody fishy business

Ocean Rebellion demands the MSC stops lying to innocent supermarket shoppers. Currently the Marine Stewardship Council certifies all fishing methods as sustainable and makes no distinction between industrial fishing methods and artisan fishing methods on its labelling.

Plus the Marine Stewardship Council allows its members to obtain their certification by paying to join.

Ocean Rebellion contends this undermines the objectivity of the certification and makes it inherently corrupt.

We ask the MSC, and all other certification bodies, to demand a suspension of industrial fishing until the state of fish stocks is fully understood, with any fishers affected by this suspension receiving compensation from their governments.

You can help turn back the MSC’s tide of lies by joining our relabelling scheme here.

a bloody fishy business war on fish


Bottom Trawling is estimated to emit more CO2 than global aviation.

CO2 stored in the oceans is known as Blue Carbon. This is carbon stored in seabed sediments, marine habitats and the fish caught there. When the seabed is damaged by bottom trawling, this blue carbon is released, switching the seabed from a carbon sink to a source of CO2 and of methane (CH4), a much more potent greenhouse gas. Blue Carbon is also stored in marine animals, so fish taken out of the sea also add to Blue Carbon release. If this figure were included in carbon footprint calculations, it’s likely that the actual footprint of some bottom trawled seafood would be even higher than any other food, including beef. All this contributes to ocean acidification which is threatening to eradicate marine life especially those with skeletons or shells in the relatively near-term. Countless marine species are now threatened with extinction.

Industrial fishing vessels release 159 million tonnes of CO2 each year. This is equivalent to the annual amount of CO2 emitted by 40 coal-fired power plants. This figure has risen four-fold since 1950 estimates.

a bloody fishy business - no more fish in the sea

Sophie Miller of Ocean Rebellion says:
“We demand that the Marine Stewardship Council tells the truth about destructive fishing methods and immediately stops greenwashing the industry with sustainability lies”

Rob Higgs adds:
“The MSC must tell the truth about the depletion of the oceans. Many fish populations are close to extinction, even the government terminology of calling them fish stocks and describing them as ‘not yet fully fished’ implies an industrial perspective on something that we should be looking to protect as if our lives depended on it – because they do.”

Clive Russell says:
“Once a species goes extinct it is lost forever, we should not be encouraging fishing methods that allow this to happen. And if we continue to fish on an industrial scale, with mega trawlers dragging nets the size of a jumbo jet, we will simply end up with no more fish in the sea.”

Roc Sandford says:
“We have eaten almost all of the wild protein on the land, we are now on track to do the same to the oceans. This means we will leave them empty and depleted of the fish that once swam freely. We must end bottom trawling and industrial fishing now to give fish populations a chance to recover. Because of the carbon stored by marine organisms, marine biodiversity breakdown and the climate emergency are more or less the same thing. We can’t solve one without the other, and killing off the oceans will end any realistic chance of saving the climate and our societies.”

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We demand all marine bodies TELL THE TRUTH about industrial fishing and stop greenwashing the industry with ‘sustainability’ lies.

We demand governments end bottom trawling, worldwide NOW, together with a just transition for displaced fisheries workers.


Take part in the Ocean Rebellion supermarket ‘unsustainable fishing’ certification scheme:

Sign this community-led petition to return the three mile limit to safeguard Scottish waters from Bottom Trawling:

Sign this European petition to stop Bottom Trawling in Marine Protected Areas:

And this UK petition by the makers of Seaspiracy:

For more information visit:

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