Greenpeace's ship the Arctic Sunrise has been confronting EU factory-trawlers in West Africa [Guardian video], which are decimating the fish stocks and livelihoods of local fishermen. Despite the cultural distance, there is a common thread between the African artisanal fishermen and UK coastal fishermen. This became clear when we took African fishermen to Cornwall last year - under a broken EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), those who fish sustainably, and particularly small-scale fishermen, are left to flounder, whilst money and fishing quota continue to flow to destructive, factory-style fishing.
While not all small-scale fishermen are perfect, many of them fish in ways that respect nature and sustain fish stocks. They also provide employment and benefits to local communities. Yet under the current system, their rights to fish have been gradually removed, and their traditional fishing grounds have been impacted by other, damaging fishing practices.
This year, we have a once in a decade opportunity to reform the failed CFP – to give the right to fish to those who fish in the right way. The CFP must support local, low impact fisheries. And that's true in Africa, the UK and the rest of Europe. That's why Greenpeace is standing shoulder to shoulder with sustainable fishermen, to help make their voices be heard.
But we can’t do it without you; we’ll be calling on you to become a Fisherman’s Friend. And if you live anywhere between Cornwall and Kent you can Get Active working with Colin, Emily and other campaign networks to demand a radical reform to the CFP to save our seas, fisheries and coastal communities. To find out more about your local network please the local webgroup - enter your postcode here.
Last month at the Madrid motor show, VW announced improvements to its new cars that will reduce emissions to beat existing European targets. It's not yet the success we're looking for – VW still refuses to back a European target of 95g for 2020, and has the expertise to go beyond. But there's no doubt about it: a massive part of this shift is down to your efforts, the Active Supporter Network (ASN) and half a million Jedi demanding that VW lives up to the green image it paints for itself read more.
We responded to VW’s announcement with a takeover of their stand at the motor show two days later. A huge banner reading ‘Dark Side – what cars for 2020?’ was lowered from the ceiling while activists locked themselves inside cars. So the rebellion against VW's dark side continues internationally, until it really is the greenest car company in the world.
In the UK, we are bringing this phase of the campaign to a close with over 13,000 actions cards having been sent through day after day to scores of individual VW managers, more than 30 VW film events having been organised to which 40,000 supporters were invited, over 170 blogs written and 20 videos made. All in all, a really strong 5 month project so huge thanks for all your hard work and support.
Active supporter skillshare, Goblin Combe, Somerset, 18 – 20 May
For all those active in the campaign networks in the ‘west’ of the UK – come and get energised and inspired. Places are limited so contact email@example.com quickly for more information.
Canterbury climate & fair trade market, 12th May - join the fun
The third Canterbury climate & fair trade market is getting bigger. Check out www.canterburyclimatefair.org for more information. Come along and meet local active supporters, or to help out contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get skilled up and join our political lobbying network.Get skilled up and be part of our political lobbying network. We are particularly looking for lobbyists in coastal areas, for the upcoming CFP work, so please get involved. Contact email@example.com for more information. Free training events are provisionally scheduled as follows:
- Birmingham (28th April)
- London (19th May)
- Edinburgh (9th June)
Many thanks to the 800+ active supporters who responded to the survey we circulated in January. These responses have generated a lot of discussions about the way we communicate with you via this Get Active newsletter. The top line was that readers generally found it an interesting and useful resource but there were a lot of suggestions about content, tone and timing and as a result we will be testing out some new ideas over the coming months. Let’s see if you spot them.
As always, a huge thank you; we couldn’t do it without you
Tim, Rachael and Malcolm
P.S What do you think of the new format - i.e.a shorter email linking through to the body text. Please post your views as comments below.