Environmental Defense Fund

Share the Gulf

ROLES

Creative direction, art direction, copywriting, video production and web development

PROJECT FOCUS

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) works in conjunction with corporations and industry to solve our planet’s most serious environmental problems. One of their concerns is the dwindling numbers of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Less than 15 years ago, the red snapper population was nearing total collapse. After Individual Fishing Quotas (IFQs) were imposed on commercial fishing, the population came back strong, tripling in number. Area fishermen can now earn a reliable living year-round and restaurants and consumers can put red snapper on the table more often.

“The team at Hunt, Gather are incredible partners. They deliver amazing creative products while being flexible, fast and efficient. Their dedication to quality and constant innovation have made the work we have done together truly standout. Not only are they great designers, developers and filmmakers, but thoughtful and generous strategists who have taught me a lot.”

– MATT SMELSER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

But limits are constantly being renegotiated, and recent proposals have threatened to destabilize the red snapper population and the related industry. To gather community support for ongoing conservation efforts, EDF formed Share the Gulf, a coalition of chefs, restaurateurs, legislators and fishermen working together to educate and galvanize the public, and they needed a website where they could share the personal stories of the people most affected by this issue.

To rally the community behind the cause, we decided to bring the Gulf region and its people to life. From second-generation fishermen and area chefs to representatives on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Council, the residents whose stories we shared convey how personal this issue is, and how many family's livelihoods depend on the survival of the red snapper.

We shot video of local fishermen like Buddy Guindon explaining what fishing was like before the IFQs were introduced. With a short season—some years it lasted only a few days—fishermen were forced to go out on the water every day they were allowed to in order to provide for their families, no matter the weather. Dangerous storms threatened their boats, their gear and their lives. With the IFQs, they don’t feel that pressure. They can fish year-round—and they catch twice as many fish as they did before.

The purpose of both the coalition and the website is to persuade the public to take action and keep harmful legislation from undoing the good that has been done. A Take Action call-to-action lets anyone send a letter to their Representative in Congress to share their thoughts on legislation like the “Modern Fish Act” or thank them for supporting pro-conservation policies. Chefs, restaurateurs and seafood purveyors can add their names to a letter that speaks specifically to their concerns. And individuals can support Share the Gulf in a variety of other ways, from sharing information about the coalition with friends and family to becoming a spokesperson for the campaign.