Following their fine showing in London's Trafalgar square last month, our Greenpeace 'fishmongers' hit the road today on their mission to show supermarket shoppers how many of the nation's favourite fish are caught using wasteful and destructive methods - beam-trawling in particular.
Our 'Bycatch Roadshow' will be visiting supermarkets around the country over the next few days to give consumers a first hand glimpse of how much sea life is unnecessarily killed in the process of pulling a fish out of the sea and onto the plate. We believe that most people who see it will be shocked at the scale of the destruction - if it was happening on land in front of our eyes, instead of deep under water, there would be an outcry.
The roadshow features hundreds of kilos of this bycatch - the fishing industry's term for the sea creatures accidentally caught and killed by trawlers hunting commercially valuable species. Beam-trawlers drag heavy metal girders over the sea bed to stir it up and disturb the bottom-dwelling plaice, sole and shrimp they are after - but the process is totally indiscriminate and it's quite common for a trawler's haul to contain more bycatch than the fish. Bycatch from around the British coast commonly includes starfish, sponges and seahorses as well as immature cod, killed before they have a chance to breed.
The tour kicked off this morning with a visit to a Tesco superstore in Oxford. ASDA and Morrison's stores nearby also received a visit. At each we displayed large amounts of decaying bycatch, and spent time explaining its significance to shoppers before asking them to help us stamp out beam trawling by sending a strong message to the management that these destructive practices must stop - they are not an acceptable way for a responsible supermarket to fill its shelves. Other cities which are due to receive a visit in the near future include Birmingham and Leeds.