Our campaign


When France, which controls a maritime area of more than 10 million km², redefines the concept of protection to its own liking, it takes on the responsibility of destroying the environmental ambitions of other nations and  of the European Union in particular. BLOOM is doing its utmost to counter the ecological fraud of “French style” protection and to restore the life-saving power of Marine Protected Areas.

Here are all the steps of our campaign in chronological order.

15 February 2022: Claire Nouvian publishes an article in Le Monde the day after the One Ocean Summit, which BLOOM refused to attend. The reality of this summit,” she writes, “is that it served little purpose other than to confirm the ‘Macron method’ in ecological matters: instrumentalizing announcements before electoral deadlines and calibrating them to optimize their media effect while minimizing their environmental impact.

28 April 2022: In the context of a vote in the European Parliament to ban bottom trawling in MPAs, BLOOM launches a petition to ask the President to truly and immediately protect MPAs by banning all destructive fishing methods and all extractive activities. This petition will be active until France establishes a real, extensive, coherent and robust network of Marine Protected Areas. 

16 May 2022: BLOOM asks the French Court of Auditors to investigate the human and financial resources allocated to the creation of a totally inefficient network of Marine Protected Areas. Indeed, BLOOM was able to prove that a minimum of 5.3 million euros from European funds had been allocated to the French Office for Biodiversity and its predecessors with virtually non-existant results. In just four days, our proposal came out on top of the votes on the Court’s citizen platform, collecting 1825 votes, thank you!

8 June 2022: On World Ocean Day, BLOOM takes legal action against a decree published on 12 April 2022 in the Official Gazette, which weakens the definition of “strong protection” zones that will apply to so-called “protected” marine areas. BLOOM calls on the Macron government to withdraw this decree and adopt a clear definition of marine protection levels in line with international standards.

12 September 2022: In a statement in support of the initiative of the National Geographic Society’s Catalan researcher Enric Sala, over 250 scientists from around the world call for a ban on destructive fishing methods and industrial activities in Marine Protected Areas. BLOOM joins this call.

7 October 2022: BLOOM sues the French government’s MPA definition before the French Council of State and simultaneously publishes an exclusive study revealing the intensity of industrial fishing activities in marine areas, which are in fact anything but “protected”.

24 November 2022: 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. This evasion of affected areas only adds to the picture of France’s lack of ambition: almost all the waters under strict protection in France are in the Southern Ocean, while less than 0.1% of the coastline of mainland France is strictly protected. (Read our press release in French.)

5 December 2022: BLOOM publishes a groundbreaking analysis of France’s marine protection policy from 2009 to 2022. Since the “Grenelle de la Mer” in 2009, successive governments have promised much in the way of marine protection, but in reality, they have made the stated ambition ineffective.

3 February 2023: As the International Conference on Marine Protected Areas (IMPAC5) gets underway in Vancouver, BLOOM publishes a ground-breaking analysis revealing that the particularly complex administrative maze that characterises the French network of so-called “protected” marine areas is an inefficient construction that does not meet any international criteria and fails entirely to protect the ocean.

21 February 2023: After two years of incessant delays due to pressure from industrial fishing lobbies, the European Commission has finally published its “Ocean Action Plan”, which is supposed to translate the “EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030” into concrete actions. However, the Commission did not formulate a legislative proposal for a regulation. Instead, there are simple “guidelines” and “recommendations”. One notable advance still stands out: for the first time, the European Commission calls on EU Member States to ban all bottom-trawling fishing gear in all EU Marine Protected Areas.

31 March 2023: BLOOM unpacks several weeks of lies by Hervé Berville — in the Senate, the National Assembly and with fishers themselves — about the European Action Plan for the Ocean, which “would condemn French artisanal fishing and cause it to disappear. Not in 10 years, but tomorrow”. This non-binding action plan calls on EU member states to ban all bottom-contact fishing gear in all EU Marine Protected Areas. The irresponsible remarks made by the French Secretary of State in the press and within public and European institutions ignited a firestorm of disorder with serious consequences, culminating in the burning down of the offices of the French Office for Biodiversity in Brest on the night of 30-31 March.

3 April 2023: BLOOM denounces Hervé Berville’s statement claiming he obtained a non-binding agreement on the European Commission’s Ocean Action Plan recommending the banning of trawling gear in MPAs, even though this action plan was non-binding from the start. Having created an imminent threat to the French fishing industry out of thin air, the Secretary of State is trying to pass himself off as a hero for fishers.

11 April 2023: BLOOM files a complaint with the French Court of Justice against the French Secretary of State for the Sea, Mr. Hervé Berville, for a series of lies that have ignited spirits and provoked the warrant of offenses including the burning down by “angry fishers” of the French Office for Biodiversity in Brittany, which is in charge of Marine Protected Areas, and called into question the principles of dignity, probity and integrity to which members of the government are bound.

18 April 2023: The French Secretary of State for the Sea uses his Ministry’s resources to try to extinguish the media fire sparked by his statements and demands that journalists correct their press articles. The journalism pieces concerned set out his lies and give a voice to the scientists, unions and associations denouncing the misinformation campaign unworthy of the ministerial office that he conducted in March.

16 May 2023: BLOOM’s case brought against French Secretary of State for the Sea Hervé Berville is dismissed.

8 June: On the occasion of World Oceans Day, more than 30 ocean protection associations question the government on the “urgency of a national strategy” for marine protection, and call for a genuine network of Marine Protected Areas, which are coherent and aligned with international protection standards, to be put in place when the “National Strategy for the Sea and Coast” is revised.

1 August: We draw attention to the inaction and complacency of the French authorities in the face of a multi-recidivist poacher who has been arrested ten times since 2005, and who is quietly pursuing his fishing activities in the Calanques National Park. We are filing an access to information request in order to lift the veil on the controls carried out and the sanctions taken by the administration against illegal fishing.

5 September: The sham of French ocean protection policy is no longer fooling anyone. In a scathing editorial, the prestigious scientific journal Nature denounces the “hypocrisy [that] is threatening the world’s oceans” and pinpoints “the disturbing misalignment of promises and action from self-proclaimed ocean champions”, citing French President Emmanuel Macron by name, and explaining that “France, which will host the next United Nations Ocean Conference in 2025, is opposed to a measure aimed at excluding a destructive fishing practice, bottom trawling, from the European Union’s marine protected areas”.

21 September: To govern is to foresee. For the past two decades, the status quo has prevailed. On the opening of the “Assises de la pêche” conference in Nice, BLOOM publishes an analytical bill to denounce the waste of public money allocated to trawling, when public aid should be directed towards a transition in the fishing sector and genuine marine protection, in order to respect marine ecosystems and those who live off them.

26 September: BLOOM warns of the risk that the UN Ocean Conference scheduled for Nice in June 2025 will turn into a summit of irresponsibility, as French President Emmanuel Macron achieved the feat of presenting the government’s “ecological planning” program whilst overlooking the ocean and introducing a new, hollow concept devoid of any scientific basis, while two meetings held the following day confirmed that the government’s roadmap for the ocean completely neglects the urgent need to protect it.

1 October: The French shop Nature & Découvertes commits to marine protection and supports BLOOM’s campaign for genuine Marine Protected Areas by calling on its customers to sign BLOOM’s petition and by setting up its “rounding up at the till” in favor of our organization.

26 October: As part of the public consultation on the adoption of a new French “National Strategy for the Sea and Coast”, BLOOM publishes a detailed position paper on “Bringing the ocean back to life”. It comprises nearly 40 pages to understand the issues and set a course to “put an end to marine overexploitation and deforestation, and rethink our activities to live in harmony with the ocean”.

28 November: During the television program “Les super-pouvoirs de l’océan” (The Superpowers of the Ocean) on France 2, Secretary of State for the Sea Hervé Berville repeatedly and deliberately lies to viewers, claiming that industrial fishing is banned in French Marine Protected Areas. The very next day, we carry out a fact-check to set the record straight for the general public on X/Twitter, Instagram and our website. We explain that in the 15 days prior to the TV broadcast, one of these giant trawlers, the 81-meter “Scombrus”, had just spent 93% of its time in the French “protected” marine areas of the Channel and North Sea, sucking in millions of kilos of fish under the noses of French artisanal fishers.

29 November: “A French President should not stoop so low“. That’s the conclusion we drew at the end of French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech at the Assises de l’économie de la mer held in Nantes. Without not a word to say about biodiversity and marine ecosystems, the President assured industrial fishing lobbies of his unwavering support and promised them an absolutely colossal financial windfall from the offshore wind tax, while summing up the challenge of the sector’s ecological and social transition in terms of hydrogen engines. A fleet of hydrogen-powered trawlers operating daily in so-called “protected” marine areas seems to be the government’s vision for tomorrow’s fishing.

6 December: BLOOM publishes an analysis of the Coral Sea Nature Park, “‘No Take’ versus ‘Full Take’: A comparative analysis of New-Caledonian and French Metropolitan ‘strictly’ protected marine areas.”. While “strict protection” is close to 0% in mainland France, New Caledonia is showing the French government how to create genuine Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that exclude fishing and are aligned with scientists’ recommendations, by creating new reserves that raise “strict protection” to 10% of its waters.

23 December: Activist Camille Etienne revisits the lies told by French Secretary of State Hervé Berville during the France 2 program, and publishes a video on Instagram decoding the truth with the BLOOM team.


According to the standards of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a Marine Protected Area is not truly “protected” if industrial extractive activities are carried out or industrial infrastructures are developed there. As long as trawling is allowed, European MPAs will remain “paper parks”.

Here are all the steps of our campaign in chronological order.

BLOOM fought to ensure that EELV MEP Caroline Roose’s amendment banning bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas was adopted by the plenary of the European Parliament, as part of the own-initiative report on the blue economy by Portuguese socialist MEP Isabel Carvalhais. Although an own-initiative report does not create binding standards, it has a major influence on the European Union’s level of ecological ambition in terms of biodiversity and climate.

Despite the disastrous outcome of the vote, BLOOM has revealed the vacuity of existing “protected” marine areas, as well as the ecological sham of Emmanuel Macron and the Renew MEPs.


12 April 2022: The NGO Océana informs us that an amendment tabled by the EELV MEP Caroline Roose banning bottom trawling in MPAs has been adopted in the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, and will be voted on in three weeks in plenary. BLOOM decides to launch a whirlwind campaign in collaboration with numerous NGOs to ensure that it is adopted.

17 April 2022: Revelation of the amendments tabled by all MEPs on the own-initiative report on the “blue economy”. We discover a bewildering amendment by LREM MEP Pierre Karleskind, chairman of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, which proposes to ban “harmful” fishing methods only in “strict protection” zones, i.e. in the tiny fraction of Marine Protected Areas where they are already banned!

25 April 2022: BLOOM denounces Pierre Karleskind’s amendment calling into question the international definition of a Marine Protected Area – which by definition prohibits destructive fishing methods and industrial extractive activities. Thousands of citizens challenge the MEP on social networks, as well as the leader of the LREM political group in the Parliament, Stéphane séjourné, co-signatory of the amendment and President Macron’s emissary in Brussels.

28 April 2022: BLOOM launches a petition to ask the President to immediately protect MPAs by banning all destructive fishing methods and all extractive activities. At the same time, in a video published on Instagram, Claire Nouvian exposes the ecological imposture of Emmanuel Macron and his Renaissance group in the European Parliament. The video has been viewed over 300,000 times.

29 April – 2 May 2022: BLOOM denounces LREM’s deceit and cynical misinformation on social networks. Backed by activist Hugo Clément, actress Marion Cotillard and comedian Nicole Ferroni, BLOOM pushes back against Macron’s political group. In the face of public pressure, the Macron’s MEPs delete their tweets, propose a new amendment even more pernicious than the first, and justify themselves using fallacious arguments and misleading data – contradicted in real time by scientists.

3 May 2022: Day of the vote in the European Parliament. Pascal Canfin, Renew MEP who announced that his group was working on a new oral amendment, does not table it. Thus, the initial perverse Renaissance amendment is maintained and adopted by 319 votes to 280. Unfortunately, this adoption means that the amendment of Green MEP Caroline Roose, which called for a ban on bottom trawling in European MPAs, is no longer in force. However, MEPs also passed a Green amendment calling for a ban on industrial extractive activities in MPAs by 361 votes to 208. Subsequently, BLOOM calls on the European Commission to produce a legislative proposal to ensure that European MPAs comply with international standards.


In the summer of 2023, the European Parliament voted on the “Nature Restoration Law”, the centerpiece of the “European Green Pact”. Having identified the marine component of the legislation as largely insufficient to address the climate emergency and the acute social crisis in Europe’s fishing industry, BLOOM worked with MEPs to propose a series of measures to deliver immediate ecological and social gains, including amendments to establish true Marine Protected Areas, a ban on destructive fishing gear and protection for European inshore fisheries (vessels under 25m).


21 February 2023: After two years of incessant postponements due to pressure from industrial fishing lobbies, the European Commission publishes its “Ocean Action Plan”, which is supposed to translate the “EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030” into concrete action. However, the Commission has decided not to draw up a legislative proposal for a regulation. Instead, it is merely proposing “guidelines” and “recommendations”. The Nature Restoration Law is now the only way to obtain a binding regulation for marine protection before the European elections in 2024.

One notable step forward is that, for the first time, the European Commission is calling on EU Member States to ban all fishing gear that comes into contact with the seabed in all EU Marine Protected Areas.

2 June 2023: BLOOM denounces the sabotage of the Nature Restoration Law by the European Right. An alliance between the right and extreme right, supported by the liberals of the Renew group, prevented the text from being examined by the Agriculture (23 May) and Fisheries (24 May) Committees.

6 June 2023: BLOOM publishes a factual assessment and groundbreaking ranking of the ecological performance of the political groups sitting in the European Parliament since 2019. This reveals a division into three distinct blocks: the “Champions of the Earth”, the “ Ecologically Neutral” and the “Destroyers of the Planet”. The analysis confirms the overall coherence of the left-wing environmentalists group, but also shows its dependence on the goodwill of a liberal group torn between the evidence of ecological urgency and the pressure of industrial lobbies.

13 June 2023: BLOOM publishes an analysis of the individual environmental performance of MEPs on the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, using an interactive evaluation site. Ahead of the vote on 15 June, this assessment helps to identify those who can tip the balance in favor of protecting Europe’s ecosystems.

15 June 2023: Neither rejected nor adopted, the vote in the Environment Committee is suspended. The final vote will take place on 27 June. BLOOM publishes a press release analyzing the forces at play, the strategy of the right and the damaging role of the liberals in the Renew group.

20 June 2023: BLOOM analyzes the official position of the Council of the EU on the Nature Restoration Law and deplores major setbacks in relation to the European Commission’s initial proposal.

27 June 2023: By 44 votes to 44, the “Nature Restoration Law” is rejected by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee. Before the final plenary vote, currently scheduled for the week of 10 July, MEPs have two weeks to raise the text’s ambition and secure a victory.

3 July 2023: BLOOM publishes the results of an exclusive IPSOS poll revealing unequivocal support among European citizens for genuine protection of marine areas. 79% of those polled said they were “in favor of their government committing to more stringent protection of 30% of national territorial waters, in line with IUCN international standards, by effectively banning towed fishing methods such as trawling on the seabed“.

5 July 2023: MEP Younous Omarjee (The Left) tables two amendments to the Nature Restoration Law, delivering immediate benefits for Europe’s oceans and coastal fishers:

1. Create genuine Marine Protected Areas in Europe by banning destructive fishing methods (amendment 77).

2. Protect fishers and coastal ecosystems from the ravages of mega trawlers and industrial vessels by reserving the EU coastal zone (12 nautical miles) for fishing vessels under 25 meters (amendment 78).

Activists Camille Étienne and Adelaïde Charlier accompany the BLOOM team to the European Parliament, where they take part in the social networking questioning of Renew and EPP parliamentarians.

8 July 2023: BLOOM publishes data in favor of the two “ocean amendments” (77 and 78).

11 July 2023: BLOOM publishes the results of an IPSOS poll and testimonials from fishers revealing unanimous support for Amendment 78, to reserve the European coastal strip for vessels under 25 meters. Claire Nouvian launches a final video appeal on Instagram to force Stéphane Séjourné to make the voting instructions given to the Renew group public. The video garnered over 15,000 likes. The mobilization is so strong that Mr. Séjourné finally takes to an Instagram story and takes a stand in favor of Amendment 78.

12 July 2023: The Nature Restoration Law is finally adopted by the plenary of the European Parliament, but the two “ocean amendments” are rejected. The final stage, the trilogue, is scheduled for 19 July.

17 July 2023: BLOOM publishes an initial assessment of the vote on the Nature Restoration Law in the European Parliament. The conclusion is clear: it was thanks to an exceptional mobilization of citizens that the law was adopted in the very nick of time. The law’s ecosystem restoration objectives represent an undeniable political victory for the left-wing environmentalists, at the price of massive concessions made by the right to industrial lobbies. The conclusion is clear: “no, the RENEW group is not the champion of the environment”. Parliamentarians from the liberal right, including French MEPs from Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party, voted with the right and extreme right to pass a piece of legislation stripped of its strength.

3 October 2023: Ahead of the final trilogue meetings, during which the Commission, Council and European Parliament will seal the fate of nature restoration legislation, BLOOM warns that the French government and industrial lobbies are leading the offensive to torpedo the only measure favorable to ocean protection and restoration that slipped through the net of unwarranted lobbies in the European Parliament during the vote on 12 July.

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