Campaigning to end overfishing

The Brief

Oceana appointed Barley to handle communications to support their ambition to secure a sustainable future for UK fisheries. The organisation sought to influence government decision-making on the UK Fisheries Act and total allowable catch limits within the UK waters, as the UK exited the EU. 

The objectives of the campaign were to promote Oceana’s messages on sustainable fishing, while elevating its UK profile. 


Insights and Approach

We needed to be strategic in our approach, as there were three key policy points which would influence the setting of catch allowances for 2021: UK Fisheries Bill, UK-EU Fisheries Agreement and 2021 TAC negotiations.

For the UK Fisheries bill, we drafted a letter to the editor which was published in the Daily Telegraph conveying Oceana’s thoughts on the bill, and also produced a release as the bill reached Parliament – timing was crucial.  

For the UK-EU Fisheries Agreement, we placed an opinion piece by Andry Sharpless on Indy 100 Conversations, and drafted two press releases to be distributed depending on the vote’s outcome. 

For the TAC negotiations, a physical activation had been planned, but needed to be called off due to the announcement of a national lockdown. So, we had to be agile, and instead utilised the publication of Oceana’s fisheries audit, the first of its kind in the UK, to shine a light on the extent and impact of overfishing in UK waters.

All the above were supported by video clips and channel-appropriate social media content. 

The Outcome

The release of the Fisheries Audit received strong interest and media coverage, which a piece in The Guardian trending in the number one news spot on launch day on Apple News. It was also shared on social media by significant influencers, notably Chris Packham, George Monbiot and Greenpeace.  

Meanwhile, the opinion piece for Indy100 by Andy Sharpless was shared by The Independent on Twitter (3.5m followers) several times between October – December.  

This coverage helped significantly in elevating the profile of Oceana and communicating their key messages. 






opportunities to see/hear


social media engagements



video views



timeline deliveries of #EndOverfishing hashtag