My colleague Alicia and I recently had the great opportunity of travelling down from the Greenpeace office to Falmouth to meet the amazing all-female Cornwall group composed of Vicky, Helen, Leila, Lisa and Becky. They were accompanied by Clarence the Cod (aka Colin – the only man in the group) to spread their contagious enthusiasm for our Be a Fisherman’s Friend campaign to the public.
We went down to the Sea Shanty Festival where Clarence the Cod displayed his beauty on the stage. The Port Isaac’s Fishermen’s Friend band (yep, the guys who sung the first Sea Shanty Petition ever addressed to our government!) also performed alongside Clarence.
It was incredible to see how easily they engaged the public who responded very positively to our campaign; many of them (not only the young ones!) proudly showed off our tattoos and badges.
I also saw girls, boys and entire families queuing up to wear fishermen’s hats or a mermaid’s bra and smile at a Greenpeace camera inside our new fishy photo booth.
This festival has reminded me how our strength relies on our amazing volunteers who generate smiles, dedicate time to our campaigns and give us inspiration for new ideas.
And that’s not all. There are still 10 other fish travelling all over the south coast.
Like Maisy the Mackerel (aka Alasdair) who moved her fins nicely through the water and across the beach in Bournemouth, talking to people and asking them to support our campaign. Maisy and the team also organised a yummy cake sale with some music and poetry in the background.
Our Salisbury group have also been very active; Chris, Bronach, Marc and Chloe put their wellies on and held a colourful and very well decorated fishy muddy stall at the Larmer Tree Festival where the Fishermen’s Friend Band were again on stage.
Last week, John, Sadie, Emma, Paula, Tim, Ashley, Pip and Theo of Canterbury travelled to the picturesque Whitstable for the Oyster Festival. The heatwave made wearing the cod costume quite hard but this didn’t stop anybody from using it to help with the campaign. Many fishermen stopped by the stall singing their sea shanties and telling old jokes and stories.
And finally, at the weekend our Eastbourne group took their cod to the musicians and dancers at the Lammas Festival.
Most importantly our cods, mackerels and volunteers have been collecting loads and loads of Fish
Cards. We are asking everybody to sign these cards which are sent to their
local MEPs to ask them to ensure reform of the current
Common Fisheries Policy (which only gets revised every 10 years) to
help our sustainable fishermen get a fair catch.
Well, I can share a little fishy secret with you. We already have more than 10'000 cards signed but this is not over yet. We still have the whole (muddy) summer to get through with new stalls and festivals.
Don’t forget – you too can be a Fisherman’s Friend. Sign our Sea Shanty petition to fisheries minister Richard Benyon and help us get a fair catch for our fishermen.