Year after year, the situation is getting worse: the North Sea is emptying of its fish. Facing the industry of electric pulse fishing, an ecological disaster, the profession of fisherman is now threatened with extinction. WATT THE FISH tells the story of activists and small-scale fishermen who find themselves in an unbalanced but essential fight, opposing two visions of the world : sustainable versus profitable.
WATT THE FISH is subject to the same emergency that the fight against electric fishing: to amplify the fight, the film must be broadcast and screened broadly in the next 6 months. The film is shot and is currently being edited. There is still a lot of work to be done to complete it and especially to bring it to the public. We are already working on organizing a preview in the presence of elected representatives and candidates before the European elections in May 2019. To meet these challenges, WATT THE FISH NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT!
Electric pulse fishing: why we must fight it
Electric pulse fishing is a radical technique that sends electroshocks in the seabed to dislodge flat fishes like soles. Forbidden in the EU since 1998, a derogation allows the Netherlands to practice it “for experimental purposes”. In fact, 84 trawlers are engaged in a massive commercial exploitation. It is accused of having harmful effects on ecosystems: rejects of damaged fish, damages on eggs and juvenile fish...
And above all, electric fishing is largely carried out by trawlers with illegal licences and paradoxically financed by millions of euros of European grants.
After two years of a campaign led by the NGO Bloom, a first victory was obtained: in February 2019, the Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission agreed on a formal ban on electric fishing throughout the Union from 30 June 2021. If this decision brings hope, it remains insufficient; for BLOOM, this transition period is "far too long for fishermen who have been subject to unfair competition from industrial vessels fishing illegally for years". The fight for fisheries more respectful of nature and men is more topical than ever.
In Boulogne-sur-mer and Dunkerque in France, in Lowestoft , on the Eastern coast of England, in Belgium and in the Netherlands, we followed fishermen and activists in their daily struggles, in their hopes and sorrows, in an adventure that will lead us from campaign meetings to the open sea. Beyond the topic of pulse fishing, WATT THE FISH pays tribute to the defenders of the sea. The film is above all a call for a citizen and political mobilization for a more sustainable management of marine resources, with 3 goals :
WATT THE FISH is the story of fishermen who are complete strangers to the EU politician world and of activists who are fed up with the misdeeds of industrial fishing. Together, they made their way into the corridors of the EU and won over industrial lobbies. A beautiful message of hope for all those who are committed to social justice and to the preservation of the planet.
Dorian Hays is a director, screenwriter and film editor. In 2018, after participating in a film on the African-American cause shot in a music school in Memphis, he accompanied the NGO BLOOM in its advocacy actions. On this occasion, he met fishermen who fish the North Sea and understood the need to give an echo to the fight against electric pulse fishing.
Emerick Missud is a director and director of photography for documentaries . He shoots in France and abroad, sometimes under difficult conditions but always with high quality standards. As a long-time friend of Dorian Hays, he wants to tell the world from a social point of view, giving a voice to the marginalized.
InFocus produces documentaries to amplify social and environmental causes. InFocus initiated WATT THE FISH with Dorian and Emerick, developing a strong artistic vision to serve a large social mobilization. Gump is a creative studio regularly working with Dorian. They brought the technical means and mastery to the aesthetic ambition of the film. Echo Studio supports films inscribed in social change and the creation of a sustainable world. Echo Studio provided the financial support necessary to launch the shooting. Finally, Terranoa, our international distributor, ensures that foreign television channels broadcast the film.
We were able to convince key partners, such as our broadcasters UshuaïaTV and France Télévisions, as well as the CNC (France National Cinema Center) to gather a large part of the film budget.
We are preparing an ambitious film. A documentary shot in several European countries, aerial and underwater images, and a large number of audiovisual archives, necessary to explain a complex subject. We also extended the filming periods with the fishermen. Longer times to show the joys, the moments of doubt, the realities of their daily life and their struggle. Above all, we do not intend to stop at the film making: we want to go further and launch a real mobilization campaign around sustainable fishing.
Participate in the WATT THE FISH adventure! There is no small contribution! Become the ambassadors of this campaign, share the page with your network! To complete the post-production and launch the distribution of the film, we need to raise at least 25,000 € / 21,500 £.
The money raised will be used to complete the post-production of the film, to bring it in a large number of festivals and to organize screening-debates in the main fishing harbours of the North Sea.