S Chub 7

Fish on Friday

The tale of how a few throwaway fish puns became part of the national campaign to stop fish discards

Way back in the history of UXB, pre-Clerkenwell and electric light, we had the idea of sending out an animated fish gag to tickle our friends. And what better day to put fish on the menu than on Friday.

The ideas emerged from a book of playful puns put together by Russ and were animated by ex-UXB'ster Aaron Moodie. Paul and the team put together a website stocked with the gags, fish n chip shop reviews, wallpapers and downloads. After about a year, the fish stocks ran dry and it was time to draw in the net.

Fish on Friday - Fishfinger

End was the start

That is, until 2010 when the release of the documentary End of the Line, shone a light on the startling decline in fish stocks and the parlous state of the world's marine environment. This coupled with our collective interest in sustainability sparked UXB to join other campaigners to amplify the message that there aren't plenty more fish in the sea.

Reasoning that a serious subject needs a bit of levity, we went back to the fish archive and thought there was something worth reviving. We started posting the puns on our blog, tweeting from @fishonfridays, published a daily newspaper and tried to connect with and distribute the good work being done on creating a sustainable marine environment. When Fabien Cousteau gave us a thumbs up we thought we must be doing something right.

Fish on Friday - Land of hope and John Dory

Join the fish fight!

We backed Hugh's Fish Fight from the off and were delighted to see that UK government and EU listened to what was being said through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Channel4 backed campaign. Proposals to reform the Common Fisheries Policy were put forward in June 2011 but now the pressure reverts to national governments to agree a way forward by 2012. If you haven't joined the fight yet, check out what's being said and sign-up on the campaign website.

Fish on Friday - Drum & Bass

Fresh stocks for 2012

This fishy tale goes on. When illustrator Kate Hazell joined UXB there was an opportunity to take the fish in a new direction. Mussell & Skate exhibited a fine selection of illustrated puns at The Beach Hut fish and chip cafe in Highbury, London in early 2012. The plan is to take the show and message on the road, but for now Kate and Russ are setting out their stall selling prints, posters and cards at Harringay Market.

Fish on Friday - Whitebait