WWF Europe Policy Office  WWF Europe Policy Office


countries involved in the campaign

Campaign raised

in European Parliament

2 fish

1 epic love story

WWF Europe Policy Office
Project:  Digital campaign Cause:  Conservation Deliverables: Campaign, Content, Digital

With over a million dams and barriers blocking Europe's rivers, freshwater migratory fish are unable to swim to their breeding grounds to mate, and are going extinct as a result. In 2022, European institutions are deciding on the EU Nature Restoration Law, a critical policy calling for the restoration of 178,000km of rivers through the removal of obsolete barriers and restoration of flood planes. But to seize the opportunity, WWF needed to grab attention and get policymakers to give a dam’ about the plight of freshwater migratory fish... who don't exactly have the cute factor. Read on to learn how we engaged EU policy makers on the issue by talking about fish sex... yes, you read that right.


Policy makers are currently not engaging with the threat of dams and barriers on river ecosystems, including fish.


Free flowing rivers across Europe where migratory fish can not only survive, but thrive. And EU politicians who are going to make that happen.


We told WWF supporters and policy makers the love story of Otis and Sophie, freshwater fish, that framed fish migration in a totally different light, and got everyone talking about fish sex.

Working towards the following SDGs
Shape history
Our Work

The problem with dams is that they get in the way of migratory fish being able to mate. So we told the story of Otis: a salmon trying to swim to his girlfriend to get it on, make some babies, and save his species. Otis delivered a simple call to action: Let’s Talk About Fish Sex.

We needed to pressure policy makers directly, so our strategy was simple: get WWF’s followers to ask MEPs to talk about fish sex, using our tweet-your-MEP tool.

We made this call to action inviting with an interactive microsite, where the user swims down the landing page with Otis, on his quest for love. At each barrier, the user learns why their MEP must act, and arrives at an easy tool to contact them.

Migratory sex education:

We got followers to the microsite with humorous educational carousels. The provocative tone worked well by surprising WWF’s audience.

The impact

Our video was shown at the European Parliament in September, which inspired a number of organisations around Europe to engage and tweet about the campaign.

Our CTA was to talk about fish sex, and the campaign did get people talking. #LetsTalkAboutFishSex was used hundreds of times across channels. It even reached Greenpeace, who summed it up with ‘wow.’

Otis and Sophie need you! The campaign is still live, don’t be shy, dive right in!

Check out the website here