Our plan to develop the project

From 2017 to 2020, the international organization of this event was led by a small French-Swiss team, entirely unpaid. It became clear to us that we would need to build a larger, more professional organization with more resources if we were to achieve the ambitious goals we had set, namely to contribute to a far-reaching cultural change that would enable the interests of aquatic animals to be taken into account. For the 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions, we began to professionalize the project, with the creation of a permanent part-time paid director position, as well as the recruitment of young volunteers benefiting from state-subsidized volunteer programs (5 contracts over the period, for 8 to 10 month assignments) and of an assistant (for 8 months). These hirings have allowed us to improve our internal processes to be able to contact partner organizations and follow up on each connection in a more systematic and efficient way, to provide them with advocacy materials and arguments, and to mobilize more people overall. Nevertheless, we are still a small team, where no one is full time, and which does not progress as fast as we would like – especially on the fundraising, which should allow us, if we manage to devote more time to it, to finally finance full time positions. Because we feel it is important to make explicit how we imagine we can concretely develop this project, we have established short, medium and long-term plans.

Short term – by April 2024

  • Currently, the most obvious obstacle to the development of our project is the lack of funding for full-time positions. Therefore, at the financial and operational level, our goal is to find funding for at least one additional full-time person, while continuing to recruit young volunteers via short subsidized volunteer contracts to delegate the simpler tasks.
  • In parallel to the operational work, the concrete work to induce cultural change must continue. Our main objective is to organize the 2024 edition (on March 30) – even if skipping an edition would have been an easy solution, for our small team, in order to free up time to develop our structure.
  • Still in the area of recurrent work, we will have to carry out our annual self-assessment in order to verify that our strategy still seems to be well adapted to the objective pursued. In particular, we plan to have carried out an in-depth reflection on the relevance of giving a new name to this world day, to better reflect the latest scientific knowledge available to us (the fact that aquaculture farming is ahead of fishing at the global level, the fact that shrimps are caught in great numbers – rivaling the number of fishes caught...).
  • Regarding the number of participants, our goal is to maintain the good figures of the 2022 edition (152 actions were carried out by 125 organizations in 31 countries). Increasing the number of participating organizations is of course still possible, but given the current size of the team, we would not be able to accompany them efficiently, and it therefore seems more relevant to us to devote the time we have left to the achievement of our other objectives (especially the one below).
  • With regard to the effectiveness of the participating organizations' contribution to cultural change, the difficulty is that we have little visibility into whether they and their audiences understand the ideas we seek to convey. We collect action reports, but participating organizations spend little time writing them. This is why our objective for the next edition is to convince at least one third of the organizations to incorporate in their actions the argumentation elements that we spread on our website (centered on the suffering and the number of individuals) and to spend more time to follow up with the organizations so that at least two thirds of the organizations return a report (with information allowing us to evaluate the extent to which their action has contributed to the cultural change that we are trying to provoke).

Medium term – by early 2026

  • Financially and operationally, our goal is to have secured enough funding to ensure the creation and perpetuation of essential salaried positions: two full-time multi-skilled people to run the organization, manage operations and communication; at least two part-time people to interact with partner organizations; at least one part-time person to produce materials that can be reused by organizations – including visuals for social networks. We would like to be able to assure each employee that, at any given moment, our organization's budget covers their employment contract for the next 12 months.
  • We plan to maintain the frequency of one edition per year (one World Day on March 29, 2025 and another on March 28, 2026).
  • We want to strengthen the evaluation of the effectiveness of participating organizations' contribution to the cultural change we seek to induce. Specifically, we aim to be able to evaluate the impact of 90% of the participating organizations, using well-defined performance indicators. Finally, it should give us a better understanding of how much more work needs to be done for the organizations involved to move forward effectively, and how to do this work more precisely.
  • We want to reinforce our support throughout the year: at least a bimonthly discussion with each organization that participated in the last edition to check on their daily involvement on the issue of aquatic animal suffering.
  • We would like to experiment with the recruitment of a local referent (outside Europe) on a short contract (about 3 months), in order to initiate the decentralization of the project.

Long term – by 2033

  • In ten years, we hope to have succeeded in building a network of a thousand partner organizations that are effectively committed, even outside of the global day, to advancing towards our long-term goal.
  • We aspire to have this global network managed in a decentralized way by local referents who know their local network of partner organizations and individuals well.
  • By this time, we hope to have successfully disseminated a culture of evaluation and efficiency maximization throughout the network, encouraging participating organizations to spontaneously self-evaluate, assessing their counterfactual impact, and developing quantifiable indicators.
  • Partners will need to have a wide range of reliable materials and arguments at their disposal, available in at least 10 languages and easy to obtain (exhibition panels, flyers, internal training materials...).
  • Partner organizations with the best lobbying skills should have effectively initiated the process of lobbying political leaders for plans to shift away from fisheries and aquaculture, and to support plant-based alternatives to aquatic animal products.
  • The World Day should have obtained a better audience with the general public, in particular thanks to a more assiduous work with journalists (much more systematic publication of press releases, organization of press conferences...). It should be an opportunity to convey useful ideas to citizens – such as, for those who live in countries where leaders can be elected, the importance of voting for candidates who take the suffering of sentient animals seriously.
  • We hope that our organization will have become a financially and operationally strong organization, capable of achieving its ambitions and with a healthy internal culture – or, if a merger is the better choice, we hope that the project will have been integrated into an organization that can meet these requirements.

See also