The annual Christmas anticipation season is underway. Presents will be piled under Christmas trees, all wrapped in glittery paper and tied with elaborate bows shortly. Tables will be full of food. The leftovers will be wrapped in plastic or discarded.
Without ruining an important tradition with its reminder to share joy, kindness and generosity with people, Christmas’ overconsumption is having increasingly drastic effects on the environment. Plastics, deforestation, transport, food waste and presents – an estimated 60 million toys in France alone. This time of year has a detrimental impact on our planet. To call attention to the suffering marine animals face due to overconsumption, Sea Shepherd France and agency, Braaxe, decided to remake the classic game, Operation. In Operation Ocean, players must save a dolphin threatened by ocean waste. The rules of the traditional version are widely known, players meticulously remove different body parts from Cavity Sam without touching him directly. Operation Ocean gives players the chance to save a dolphin, by removing a fish hook, net, toothbrush, chemical bottle and a cigarette butt.
According to the United Nations Environment Agency, 70% of the marine plastic waste is linked to fishing equipment lost or abandoned by boats. Some 640,000 tons of nets and fishing gear are thrown into the oceans each year, killing 136,000 seals, dolphins, sea lions, turtles, small whales and seabirds and active fishing is now the leading cause of death for marine mammals, killing over 300,000 annually. While trawls and dredges decimate bottom feeders, old fishing lines, often tens of kilometres long, and equipped with thousands of hooks, are a menace below the surface of the ocean.
“If you attached all the lines together, you’d have enough to go around the globe 500 times,” explained Lamya Essemlali, president of Sea Shepherd France.
Cigarette butts also pose a grave danger. “4.3 billion cigarette butts are thrown into the streets every year. On any given café terrace, how many people nonchalantly toss cigarette butts into the gutter, without thinking for a second that it will take 12 years to decompose, pollute 500 litres of water, and maybe even end up in the stomach of a marine animal,” Essemlali explained.
“The ocean is the primary organ of climate regulation, carbon sequestration and oxygen production. If the ocean dies, we all die. We hope that Operation Ocean will raise awareness of the dangers of marine pollution at a time of year when many French people are considering eating fish,” she added.
The greatest threat to the ocean, though, is fishing, according to Sea Shepherd. “On a global average, we are encouraged to consume about 260 g of fish and seafood per week, almost twice as much as what’s available. There simply aren’t enough fish in the sea to follow these recommendations, which are irresponsible and unrealistic. They incite us to kill the ocean, and us with it,” the NGO stated.
“Ecological issues are such that, in a very short time, no brand will be able to ignore its role and, even more, won’t be able to communicate in the same way as before. Our collaboration with Sea Shepherd is a step in this direction. We share the association’s struggles, its ability to do hard, to act with a punch and to dare,” added, Clément Bouton, creative director, Braaxe.
Operation Ocean will be used in Sea Shepherd’s children’s workshops, Ateliers Sea Shepherd Kids.
Creative Director: Clément Bouton
Art Director: Adam Chaple Triverio
Copywriter: Julien Velu
Production: Wolfgang, Ya Basta, Soldats Films & Uzkid
Agency Manager: Julien Casiro
Client: Sea Shepherd France
President: Lamya Essemlali