BLUE’s May 2020 Newsletter

May 14, 2020 by Emma Eatough



It’s now over two months that the BLUE office has been closed and, to our collective relief, it’s been an incredibly productive period for BLUE. Morale remains high and the team has been wonderfully nimble and creative in adapting to the new situation. There are of course challenges, particularly in our on-the-ground projects and sporting events, but also many new ideas around how we can work more effectively in future.  From moving our events online, to launching BLUE Digital, including our podcast series, to embarking on new campaigns, here is a snapshot of some what we’ve been up to.

We would like to wish all BLUE’s friends and supporters good health at this challenging and changing time.

– Clare Brook, CEO

Ocean Awards 2020 Winners Announced

Our Ocean Awards were to be held at Fishmongers’ Hall, but we had to make the event a virtual one in celebration of the people and organisations who work tirelessly to help address the crisis in our oceans. From schoolchildren in French Polynesia to the revolutionary MiCO System and the CEO of Oceana, you can read and see films about this year’s deserving winners here.

To receive your complimentary copy of BOAT International June edition, showcasing the Ocean Awards winners, please email

EU urged not to squander the fisheries bonus of lockdown

The winner of this year’s Ocean Award for Science was Dr Rainer Froese. He explains in an interview with BLUE’s Executive Director, Charles Clover, how Covid-19 could end overfishing in European waters this year. You can read about Rainer’s call to impose appropriate quotas in this ITV report or listen to Charles and Rainer in discussion in BLUE’s latest podcast.

BLUE’s podcasts have launched!

If you’d like to listen to BLUE’s work being discussed in depth during your morning run or evening walk, please subscribe to BLUE’s podcasts on Itunes, Spotify and Podbean to keep up to date with future releases. In our first episode, Morven Robertson and Jo Coumbe discuss the drive behind BLUE’s #LocalFishForDinner campaign.

#LocalFishForDinner campaign

The closure of pubs and restaurants has been hugely damaging to UK’s small-scale fishers, so BLUE has been supporting them through its #LocalFishForDinner campaign. Chef and restaurateur Mark Hix has leant his flair to the campaign by filming live cooking demonstration videos with Lyme Bay Reserve Seafood. The demonstrations can be found on BLUE’s Instagram. Senior UK Project Manager, Morven Robertson, has also shared her experience sourcing and cooking fish from Lyme Bay in her blog Sole-itary Confinement.

Leading scientists call out EU for yellowfin tuna overfishing

While nature is bouncing back in many parts of the world during lockdown, the ocean risks being more overfished than ever due to a lack of oversight. Professor Callum Roberts, BLUE’s Chief Scientific Adviser, and 12 other leading fisheries scientists put their names to a letter calling out the EU for its continued overfishing of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean. Mentioned in the Financial Times and the Sunday Times in South Africa, the letter urges the EU to implement the precautionary principle and cut catches of yellowfin by a quarter as a matter of urgency to save the stock from collapse.

A Green Way Forward – finding an exit strategy fit for the planet

To mark #EarthDay2020 Clare Brook, BLUE’s CEO, sat as part of a panel alongside Isabella Tree and Juliet Davenport on the webinar A Green Way Forward – finding an exit strategy fit for the planet, sharing thoughts on how the world could emerge from the crisis of Covid-19. Listen to the webinar and read Clare’s reflections on the topic here.

Covid-19, overfishing and the high seas

With UN IGC4 negotiations postponed and IOTC and other RFMO meetings on hold as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, we asked world-leading fisheries economist Dr Rashid Sumaila his views on the benefits and costs of closing the high seas to fishing. Read Dr Sumaila’s response here and his The economics of high seas protection report here.

Welcoming a new member of staff

BLUE is excited to welcome our new Events and Sponsorship Manager Raphael Haguenauer. Raphael has joined BLUE after working at German tech start-up Digital Knights and Bow & Arrow, an innovation consultancy. He has a degree in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford.

While BLUE’s annual London to Monaco cycle ride and running event Onetrack1000 may have to take different forms this year, BLUE’s Head of PartnershipsSJ, and Raphael are working hard to ensure all keen cyclists and runners can do their bit to support the ocean. Watch this space for updates about London to Monaco and OneTrack1000.

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