BLOOM regularly calls on citizens to take action by publicly challenging our elected officials on social media and by email, to remind them of their commitments.
The pressure that citizens exert in this way has allowed BLOOM to win historic victories such as the banning of deep-sea trawling and electric fishing. Without massive citizen mobilization, BLOOM would not win its battles!
14 March: BLOOM launches a Twitter account called ‘Trawl Watch EU’ with the aim of tracking down and denouncing mega trawlers with destructive practices in European waters, on the model of flight tracker accounts like ‘I Fly Bernard’ and ‘Elon Jet’ which follow the activities of private jets.
African fisheries and ‘distant’ fishing nations
5 April: Following the objection to the FAD ban resolution by the European Commission on 29 March, BLOOM releases a new report entitled ‘Lining up the ducks’, which decodes how industrial tuna fishing lobbies line up their political allies to defend their destructive practices in Africa.
6 March: BLOOM publishes a groundbreaking analysis, based on fisheries control statistics published for the first time in France, which reveals that the French State has set no concrete control objectives for its tuna fisheries in 2022 and 2023.
20 February: Following a threat by the European Commission to object to the supported proposal within 120 days and thus render it null and void, BLOOM sends a letter to the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, formally asking the Commission to not only drop its objection, but to also support the only measure that makes sense in the long term: a total and permanent ban on drifting FADs.
5 February: After three days of negotiations, the proposal that will implement a recurrent annual three-month prohibition on drifting fish aggregating devices (d-FADs), led by Indonesia alongside 10 other countries, is successfully adopted by 16 votes out of 23.
30 January: In Mombasa, Kenya, BLOOM call on the EU to completely change its stance and adopt the urgent measures tabled by India to protect the marine environment, which include, for the first time, a much-needed proposal to eliminate the use of artificial rafts (drifting Fish Aggregating Devices, known as ‘FADs’) that allow high-tech fisheries to catch all marine life.
12 January: BLOOM reveals the shocking results of a ground-breaking study on lobbyists within official delegations during twenty years of negotiations on tropical tuna in Africa, between 2002 and 2022. Our analysis, focusing on 2,778 negotiators from 30 countries making up the delegations at the IOTC annual meetings since 2002, shows that from the moment in 2015 when neighbouring countries demanded a more equal share of marine resources and the implementation of environmental protection measures, the European Union suddenly doubled the size of its delegations from 22 people before 2015 to an average of 40 people after 2015, in order to block any form of environmental progress and economic emancipation in Africa and the Indian Ocean.
6 December: Frédéric Le Manach, Scientific Director at BLOOM, co-authored a publication in the scientific journal Frontiers examining the relationship between the subsidies distant fishing nations have received for their development in the Indian Ocean and the current negotiations for the allocation of fishing possibilities within the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).
→ Sinan et al. (2022, 6 décembre). Subsidies and allocation : A legacy of distortion and intergenerational loss. Frontiers.
2 December: The Parquet national financier (or PNF, a French institution tasked with investigation and prosecution in instances of financial crime) has decided to open an inquiry following our revelations on the collusion between French public powers and anti-environmental lobbies.
16 November: BLOOM and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) file a formal complaint to the EU Transparency Register against both the French tuna lobby Orthongel and EU-wide industrial fishing lobby Europêche.
14 November: BLOOM and French anti-corruption NGO ANTICOR warn of a case of public-private transfer that causes a clear conflict of interest in the tuna fishing sector. By reporting this defection case to the French Public Prosecutor, BLOOM and ANTICOR intend not only to ensure that the rules of probity and integrity, which are the absolute prerequisite for public action, are respected, but also to shed light on a system that cultivates conflicts of interest in order to favour the financial interests of industrialists to the detriment of the general interest and in particular the protection of the environment and living organisms.
TotalEnergies’ new climate bomb in South Africa
7 February: On the eve of the announcement of TotalEnergies’ annual results, five winners of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize head to the European Parliament to call on financial institutions to stop supporting the French major’s oil and gas expansion in Africa which tramples on climate, biodiversity and human rights.
17 October: The French oil & gas major ‘TotalEnergies’ is about to start yet another fossil fuel project despite specific climate experts’ recommendations to steer clear from new fossil fuel investments. BLOOM launches an international petition calling on Mr. Patrick Pouyanné, CEO and Board Chair of TotalEnergies, to make an announcement, before COP27 in Egypt, that he is abandoning his Promethean projects in South Africa.
Marine Protected Areas
2 April: BLOOM calls on the UN to revoke France’s responsibility to organize the UN Ocean Conference and calls on Costa Rica to denounce its co-chair of the « High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People », which serves as an anti-ecological lobbying platform for France to fight any real ambition for the ocean. BLOOM also calls on the UN Division for Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean Mr. Peter Thomson, to ask for a State other than France to host the next UN Ocean Conference, at the risk of discrediting the international meeting and missing the slot to act truly in favor of the ocean and the stability of the climate.
31 March: Following ten days of mobilization of fishers, fuelled by the pyromaniac lies of French Secretary of State for the Sea, Hervé Berville, the offices of the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB; French: Office français de la biodiversité), the public administration in charge of protecting biodiversity and managing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), are set on fire during the night in Brest, Britanny. BLOOM analyses the lies spread by French Secretary of State for the Sea, Hervé Berville, during the month of March.
21 February: The European Commission publishes its highly anticipated and extremely underwhelming ‘Ocean Action Plan’ after two years of constant adjournments, which falls short of the necessary structural reforms needed in the fishing sector.
24 October: An analysis conducted by BLOOM reveals that the “strong protection zone” of the Southern Territories, which President Macron boasted of having tripled in size at the Brest Summit in February 2022, is located in an area that has never been subject to industrial fishing. (Read our press release in French.)
7 October: In the absence of a response from the government and after a compulsory four-month period concerning the appeal filed on 8 June, BLOOM has decided to sue the French government before the State Council. Concurrently, BLOOM releases an exclusive investigation, which reveals that industrial fishing activities in French marine so-called ‘protected’ areas are just as intense as in adjacent non-protected waters.
8 June: On World Ocean Day, BLOOM is taking legal action against a government decree that is dangerous for marine biodiversity and the climate.
16 May: BLOOM used a new citizen platform initiated by the French Court of Accounts, which enables citizens to ask the Court to open investigations. These proposals were up for public votes until May 20th. BLOOM requested an investigation into the management and funding of Protected Marine Areas in France. In just four days, our request collected 1825 votes, making it the platform’s most voted proposition!
28 April: BLOOM launched a petition calling on Macron to truly protect Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This interpellation belonged to BLOOM’s flash campaign on a vote in the European Parliament to ban bottom trawling in MPAs. In a week, the petition collected close to 550 000 signatures. The petition is still ongoing, as BLOOM continues to fight for truly protected Marine Protected Areas in France.
Electric fishing campaign interpellations
14 March: On BLOOM’s initiative, the association LIFE (‘Low-Impact Fishers of Europe’) and 27 French, Belgian, Dutch and British fishers file an appeal against the European Commission before the Court of Justice of the European Union for ‘failure to act’ and ‘poor administration’ in the European electric fishing scandal. The European Commission has refused to investigate the complaint filed by fishers in spring 2021 to obtain the reimbursement of illegal subsidies allocated to electric fishing.
27 May: BLOOM engaged in an arm-wrestle with the European Commission against the fraudulent derogations delivered by the Netherlands to allow electric fishing. Despite BLOOM’s two complaints filed in 2017 and 2019, and the 24,000 citizen complaints in the fall of 2020, the European Commission refused to force the Netherlands to comply with the regulation and sanction them. BLOOM launched an interpellation platform to expose the European Commission’s moral corruption.
17 September: BLOOM launched an interpellation platform in the face of the European Commission’s silence even though it had witnessed the Netherlands’ fraud. BLOOM demanded, together with the mobilized citizens, that the Commission opened an infringement procedure against the Netherlands.
21 January: BLOOM launched a new tool, iPolitics, which gathered all the interpellations of our campaign. BLOOM called on citizens to exercise daily their right to accountability over policymakers, especially the European Commission. BLOOM invented a new kind of tool to hold responsible, day after day, the negotiators who work in the greatest institutional opacity. The first interpellation of the platform was entitled “StopElectricFishing“, it targeted MEPs of the PECH Committee of the European Parliament (rapporteur, shadow rapporteurs…), the European Commission and the Ministers of Fisheries.
- 23 May: citizen interpellation on the BLOOM website of President Emmanuel Macron to urge France to mobilize its diplomatic forces.
- 13 June: BLOOM launched a European platform for citizens to challenge their government and demand a total ban on electric fishing. This initiative was supported by 27 organizations (NGOs and fishermen).
- 8 October: a new petition against electric fishing asked the French President Emmanuel Macron to fully engage French diplomacy.
- 2 November: BLOOM launched a petition against electric fishing, which needed to be signed before November 21, 2017, when MEPs from the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries were due to speak on the subject. There were 90,000 signatories!
- 13 December: BLOOM launched a European petition for a ban on electric fishing in Europe. BLOOM called on citizens to sign in order to encourage Emmanuel Macron to keep his promise by deploying the diplomatic means to obtain a definitive ban on electric fishing in Europe.
EMFAF campaign interpellations
- March: launch of iPolitics: first call to action launched to question the main decision-makers on the future European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) 2021-2027 before the vote in April in the Parliament (MEPs of the European Parliament, the political groups, the European Commission, the fisheries ministers of the Member States). 15,233 visits, 9,350 email requests, 1953 on Facebook, 1,205 on Twitter, 1,476 shares
- 12 June: scientists speak out against the position on the EMFAF that France was about to announce at the EU Council on June 18.
- 13 June: open letter to President Emmanuel Macron from 4500 citizens who denounced the inadequacy between his actions and his promises. France was participating in the destruction of the ocean.
- 18 June: More than 4,500 citizens expressed their dissatisfaction to the government via a form on the BLOOM website following the position expressed by France on the EMFAF to the Council of the European Union
- 1 October: Second round of interpellation on iPolitics of MEPs on the future EMFAF 2021-2027 before the debate on the EMFAF in the Committee on Fisheries of the European Parliament. 28 590 interpellations.
Deep-sea fishing campaign interpellations
September: 2500 postcards were sent by citizens to the President François Hollande and Ségolène Royal, the Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea.
- 18 June: appeal to Minister Ségolène Royale (petition with 850 000 signatures).
- 20 March: citizens challenged François Hollande (24,000 letters, 20,000 emails).
- 17 June: declaration of support for the European proposal to ban deep-sea trawling signed by over 300 French and international researchers.
- 9 June: Le Monde newspaper appeal signed by political figures to the French President.
- June-December: petition to ask President François Hollande to take a stand against deep-sea trawling (900,680 signatories).
Interpellations to preserve the small-scale fishing sector
18 May: BLOOM launched a citizen’s platform to demand the cancellation of the 2 May 2020 decree, which does not include any environmental and social criteria for the allocation of aid related to the COVID-19 crisis for the fishing sector.
Evaluation of MEPs and the government
- May 2019: evaluation platform for French MEPs on the eve of the May 2019 European elections. Scores were assigned to each MEP based on their votes concerning the environment and the ocean.
- June 2019: launch of a platform allowing citizens to comment on the Macron government’s position on the ocean and the environment