Sea Shepherd hacks Christmas to spread cautionary message about overconsumption and its impact on marine life
Introducing the newest version of the classic children’s game ‘Operation’ – ‘Operation Ocean’
D - XX days before Christmas: the Christmas countdown has begun and shoppers are getting into the present-hunting rush. But what they don’t always take into account is overconsumption and its increasingly drastic effects on our environment. Plastics, deforestation, transport, this time of year has a detrimental impact on our planet. To call attention to the suffering marine animals face due to overconsumption, Sea Shepherd and agency Braaxe decided to remake the classic game ‘Operation’. Introducing ‘Operation Ocean’, where players must save a dolphin threatened by ocean waste.
In less than a month, children around the world will wake up on Christmas day to a host of presents under the tree – an estimated 60 million toys in France alone. That means lots of packaging and gift wrap, not all of which is easily recyclable. It’s also a time of feasting, when consumption of meat and fish, particularly salmon rises. Unfortunately, salmon farming has crushing consequences on the environment – for every kilogram of farmed salmon, 7 kilograms of wild fish lose their life. Sea Shepherd France, the independent NGO that relentlessly tracks down those responsible for the most harmful effects on our oceans, is hoping to raise awareness through ‘Operation Ocean’. Everyone knows the rules of the traditional version: meticulously remove different body parts from Cavity Sam without touching him directly. ‘Operation Ocean’ gives players the chance to save a dolphin, by removing a fish hook, net, toothbrush, chemical bottle or cigarette butt.
According to the United Nations Environment Agency, 70% of the marine plastic waste is linked to fishing equipment lost or abandoned by boats. Some 640,000 tons of nets and fishing gear are thrown into the oceans each year, killing 136,000 seals, dolphins, sea lions, turtles, small whales and seabirds and active fishing is now the leading cause of death for marine mammals, killing over 300,000 annually. While trawls and dredges decimate bottom feeders, old fishing lines, often tens of kilometers long, and equipped with thousands of hooks, are a menace below the surface of the ocean. "If you attached all the lines together, you’d have enough to go around the globe 500 times,” explains Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France.
Cigarette butts also pose a grave danger. "4.3 billion cigarette butts are thrown into the streets every year. On any given café terrace, how many people nonchalantly toss cigarette butts into the gutter, without thinking for a second that it will take 12 years to decompose, pollute 500 liters of water, and maybe even end up in the stomach of a marine animal?" Lamya explains.
"The greatest threat to the ocean is fishing. And after that, plastic, chemicals, noise pollution, climate change, fossil fuel exploration... And by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean," the NGO warns. "The ocean is the primary organ of climate regulation, carbon sequestration and oxygen production. If the ocean dies, we all die. We hope that ‘Operation Ocean’ will raise awareness of the dangers of marine pollution at a time of year when many French people are considering eating fish," says Lamya Essemlali.
It’s time for action. Drastically reducing fish consumption, or better yet, ending it, is the most important and significant change for the ocean, according to Sea Shepherd.
"On a global average, we are encouraged to consume about 260 g of fish and seafood per week, almost twice as much as what’s available. There simply aren’t enough fish in the sea to follow these recommendations, which are irresponsible and unrealistic. They incite us to kill the ocean, and us with it,” asserts Sea Shepherd.
"Ecological issues are such that, in a very short time, no brand will be able to ignore its role and, even more, won’t be able to communicate in the same way as before. Our collaboration with Sea Shepherd is a step in this direction. We share the association's struggles, its ability to do hard, to act with a punch and to dare. " - Clément Bouton, Braaxe
By reducing consumption and being more vigilant about our waste, we can help revive the marine population and clean up our oceans, a vital lesson Sea Shepherd is hoping to communicate with ‘Operation Ocean’, which will be used in its children’s workshops, Ateliers Sea Shepherd Kids.
Agence : Braaxe
CD : Clément Bouton
AD : Adam Chaple Triverio
Copywriter : Julien Velu
Production : Wolfgang / Ya Basta / Soldats Films / Uzkid
Agency Manager : Julien Casiro
Sea Shepherd France : Lamya Essemlali