These Fish Made of Marine Debris Warn of Rising Ocean Pollution

In 2050, the catch of the day could be more fishing nets than fish

Meshed mackerel. Netted plaice. Stringy shrimps. Ropey lobster. Threaded herring. Sound tasty? If overfishing and ocean debris continue to increase, by 2050 you'll be more likely to eat lobster made from fishing lines than actual crustaceans.

And to think there once was a time when lobsters were considered "cockroaches of the sea" and fed to prisoners.

Sea Shepherd, an ocean conservation organization based in the Netherlands, launched "Catch of the Day 2050" with help from Ogilvy Social.Lab Amsterdam and artists from ArtEZ University of the Arts and the Dutch Design Academy Eindhoven.

The campaign began with a Dutch herring cart at Spui square in Amsterdam. The herring, mackerel and shrimp packed on ice were in no danger of rotting since they were made from fishing nets removed from the North Sea. The Dutch design students created the stringy creatures over the course of four months, using debris removed by global charity Ghost Diving. QR codes offered passersby info about the project and the dangers of overfishing.

"According to a scientific study, if the current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, by 2050 the populations of just about all seafood face collapse," say Teresa Dos Santos Serra and Anouk Slot of Ogilvy Social.Lab. "We wanted to visualize that data in a shocking and memorable way. We collected discarded fishing nets and turned them into a statement about the future of our oceans. As more and more fish disappear every year, it is more likely that the only thing left to catch will be plastic fishing nets and debris."

Sea Shepherd | Catch Of The Day 2050

A 60-second video from production house Tebber Nekkel shows a typical day on a fishing vessel in 2050. It looks pretty standard. The nets are brought up, seafood is placed packed on ice and brought to a warehouse. At the halfway mark, fish are unloaded onto a Dutch herring cart, and not until the 40-second mark does the viewer realize the delicacies are anything but. The fresh fish are made from ropes and plastic. "By 2050 it will be more likely to catch fishing nets than fish," closes the ad.

Print ads show ropey seafood plated, on ice and still inedible.

Click images to enlarge:


Agency: Ogilvy Social.Lab Amsterdam
ECD: Tolga Büyükdoğanay
Creative Directors: Alison Hingle, Diego Lauton De Oliveira, Desiree Leiprecht
Art Director: Lorene Faivre
Copywriter: Leanne Dingwall
Social and motion designers: Erwan Elmayan, Lea Thibault
Strategists: Justin Jackson, Twan Wiertz
Film Company: Tebber Nekkel
Film Directors: Blue Ter Burg, Quintin Baker
Photography studio: Chuck Studios
Photographer: Natascha Brandt
Business Lead: Martijn Pots
Account Managers: Inge Arntz, Kelly Geesink
Public Relations: Teresa Dos Santos Serra, Anouk Slot, Emma Demes
Digital Media Strategy: Ebba Hojman, Mohita Ghosal
Content Management: Isabella Martini Donati
Dutch Design Academy Eindhoven: Evy Cornelissen, Elian Beeker
ArtEZ University of Arts:
ArtEZ teacher Illustration Design: TRIK (Illustrator, cartoonist)
ArtEZ students Illustration Design: Coen Groot, Dion Osté, Femke Rutgers, Hannah Eekhof, Heros de Oliveira Santos, Imme van Zuilekom, Jip Pronk, Joren Boersma, Lloyd Linde, Moos Boeke, Renske Buissant des Amorie Robbin van Nuil, Robin Janmaat, Roos Vonk, Salomé Kopong, Stan van Dijk, Stijn van der Knaap, Suzanne Wissink, Tessa van der Klis, Welmoed Boersma, Xem Vermeij
Ghost Diving Pascal van Erp –

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