What is it?
The Paint a Fish campaign aims to engage and educate the younger generations about the protection of fish stocks. Children from EU countries are each being encouraged to do a painting of a fish, which is uploaded onto a specially created microsite.
Before a vote on the Common Fisheries Policy in the European parliament on 6 February, the campaign is calling on EU leaders to reduce fishing quotas in order to allow fish stocks to return to their maximum sustainable yield.
The campaign is being promoted by WWF offices throughout Europe, from Portugal to Poland and Slovakia to Sweden.
The charity is aiming to collect 21,000 fish – so far it has more than 8,000. Each day the best fish are animated and appear to swim in its virtual sea.
Another key goal of the campaign is to educate younger generations about sustainable fisheries. To support this aim, the charity has developed a set of educational resources to help teachers and schools plan two lessons on sustainable fisheries.
Why is the charity doing it?
WWF says that up to 50 per cent of all the fish caught by EU states are thrown back into the sea. Because Europe’s waters have been overfished, the charity says, EU trawlers are turning their attention to other countries’ fish stocks. This can be a problem for those developing countries where fish is the main food source. Some agreements between the EU and these countries do not offer enough guarantees for the protection of small-scale fisheries, says WWF.
Third Sector verdict:
The Paint a Fish challenge is a simple but engaging campaign that cleverly appeals to a child's enthusiasm to draw. As well as encouraging children's creativity, it also brilliantly includes an educational message and will get children campaigning for causes they believe in.