Stars get naked for the love of fish

Nature and Environment

Richard E. Grant and hake

Over 90 species fishes in European waters could become extinct, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Sharks, rays and other cartilaginous fish are at the most risk, about 40 percent of them facing extinction. Here, the "Withnail and I" actor Richard E. Grant takes to a hake.

Nature and Environment

Gillian Anderson and conger eel

The European conger eel starts and ends its life in the same place, the Sargasso Sea in a southwest corner of the north Atlantic. The eel's numbers have been falling for decades and the animal is now critically endangered.

Nature and Environment

Greta Scacchi and cod

Fishlove was set up in 2009 by Brighton restaurant owner Nicholas Röhl and US actress Greta Scacchi, with the aim "to raise awareness of the unsustainable fishing practices destroying the Earth’s marine ecosystem." Fishlove has released several series of naked-celebrities-with-fish portraits since then.

Nature and Environment

Judi Dench and lobster

All of the fish in these photographs continue to fall prey to commercial fishing, even though some are regarded by scientists as overfished. European fleets are expected to continue to overfish until 2034, despite EU states agreeing that by 2020 all fish stocks should be caught sustainably.

Nature and Environment

Ben Kingsley and squid

"European countries have the power to end overfishing and with just two years left until the 2020 deadline, what's needed is political will," said Rebecca Hubbard of campaign group Our Fish. "Sustainable fishing means healthier fish stocks, more jobs and profit for fishers, and a healthier marine environment," she said.

Nature and Environment

Terry Gilliam and spider crab

The Monty Python cartoonist and film director Terry Gilliam is pictured here with a spider crab, another endangered species. The organizers say the use of these animals in this in the campaign is justified to highlight what could be lost if overfishing continues. None of the fish pictured were caught for the purpose of making these photographs.

Nature and Environment

Imelda Staunton and blonde ray

"It breaks my heart to think about what we are doing to our seas through overfishing, especially when you realize how easy the solution is," British actress Imelda Staunton says. The Harry Potter star is seen here sporting a blonde ray, a species that is caught and discarded as bycatch.

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.

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.

Nature and Environment | 14.06.2018

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.

Nature and Environment | 26.05.2018

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.

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