One fish, two fish, red fish . . . .

So, we’ve been here at Sundance to help give Greenpeace support to the End Of The Line film.

In many ways this isn’t normal Greenpeace territory, and we found out with quite short notice that the movie was premiering here in Utah, so we scratched our collective heads and thought what to do.

In the end, and after some complicated logistics involving four Greenpeace offices (thank you guys!) we managed to get five Greenpeace US volunteers, and two red fish suits from Greenpeace Netherlands.

Park City during Sundance is crazy busy. The Main Street, hotels, and carparks are all chockablock, and everyone has a film to sell or see.

So, clearly we needed something to attract a bit of attention. And I think that a huge, round, red, fluffy fish is about as eye-catching as it gets. Our teams of volunteers alternated between being fish, and engaging with curious members of the Sundance public who wanted to know what’s going on.‘Why’s he sad?’ was the most common starter question. And a very easy one to answer – he’s sad because his friends are being overfished.

The red fish (as well as bearing a passing resemblance to orange roughy) are designed for the Greenpeace’s consumer work in the Netherlands, drawing attention to fish on the ‘red list’ – the ones you should really try and avoid. Red’s a natural warning colour – and in wintry Park City, our fish certainly stood out.

And, despite being fish very far out of water, they got about a bit too! As well as attending the premiere of our movie, the fish were at some other theatres too. They were passed by several celebrities we recognised, and several (who were being chased by paparazzi) that we didn’t.

They posed for photos on the red carpet too, and everyone seemed to want to cheer them up with a hug for the camera.

They even tried skiing, taking to the gentler slopes at nearby Deer Valley Resort, and attracting a lot of attention from bemused skiers. They’ve even been blogged about in the New York Times.

The one thing we can be sure of, is that everyone in Park City knew about the fish, and on several occasions when they crossed Main Street, they did quite literally stop traffic.

Yes, this all seems frivolous, but there’s a serious point of course. We want people to hear about and see the End Of The Line, and we want people to start caring about fish too, whether they eat them, or just hug them in the street.

  • Willie MacKenzie is part of the Oceans Campaign for Greenpeace UK


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