21 June 2012
Victory against Intermarché
21 June 2012
BLOOM wins a battle against French retail giant Intermarché, by obtaining a ban on a dishonest and misleading advertisement. This advert claims that Intermarché’s fleet (the largest in France), despite having the greatest involvement in deep-sea trawling of all French fleets, practices “responsible fishing”.
Given the unwavering support from the political sphere towards the fishing industry, due to regular election terms and the lack of public knowledge of deep sea fishing practises, BLOOM has long fought against the status quo, which is comfortable for the fishing industry but devastating for the common good.
BLOOM has succeeded in bringing the issue of deep-sea fisheries out of a political, public and media no-man’s land.
BLOOM’s actions have led to:
- The publication of the book THE DEEP (University of Chicago Press, 2007): the first visual encyclopaedia about the great oceanic depths, translated into 10 languages.
- The creation of THE DEEP exhibition (Paris Natural History Museum, 2007), which has toured the world and has so far been seen by over 1.5 million visitors.
- The presence of “deep-sea fisheries” as a priority issue on the agenda of France’s multi-stake holder negotiations: the “Grenelle de la Mer”(Sea Summit) (2009).
- The launch of a “mission” dedicated to examining the viability of deep-sea fisheries (August 2009-June 2010), following the Grenelle de la Mer.
BLOOM played a leading role throughout the negotiations in controlling and neutralizing the scope of its implications by:
- Producing a scientific shadow report (Click here for a French version)
- Forcing the mission to accept a review of the final report by external researchers (the reviewers severely criticized the report for its mediocre quality)
- Producing a critical analysis of the report’s content and presenting it to the French Minister for Ecology, Jean-Louis Borloo on November 2nd 2010 (Click here for the letter to the Minister and here for the critique of the biased report )
These political meetings made it possible to very clearly identify and “draw out” not only the staunch defenders of deep-sea fishing (notably the French deep-sea fleet owner: the supermarket chain Intermarché), but also the “merchants of doubt”: the researchers who deliberately slowed or corrupted the process from the inside. As a result of this long term work the debate and discussion, about deep sea fishing, has lost its aura of being taboo and untoucable, which had been created and maintained by the establishment up to now. These fruitless negotiations also set BLOOM on the investigatory trail and allowed us to produce the counter-assessment needed to hold an enlightened debate.
BLOOM releases the first analysis of French deep-sea fisheries
In May 2011, BLOOM released a comprehensive analysis of deep-sea fishing in France and held a press conference with Greenpeace and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation. This was done in the presence of one English and one American researcher, as well as expert Matthew Gianni of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition.
BLOOM’s study revealed the chronic and colossal losses of the deep-sea fishing sector in France (it consists of three fleets, Intermarché is the main player), despite substantial State and EU subsidies. BLOOM’s report demonstrates the inconsistency of public subsidy policies, which create artificial conditions of economic viability for a sector otherwise incapable of surviving without State subsidy, but, which employs destructive and unsustainable fishing practices such as blast fishing.
BLOOM’s report had a huge impact in the media (over 100 articles – click here to read the press release in English). It was also widely distributed to UN negotiators (click here to see the summarised version for the UN in French) and European institutions.
Read here the international support of 26 scientists to The Jury of Ethics of Publicity in France.