Topless ‘Mermaids’ Protest Fishing

Posted by 6 years ago | Permalink | Comments (33)

Shoppers and passers-by in Nottingham’s Old Market Square were treated to the sight of two gorgeous PETA “mermaids” in front of the fountain last Wednesday. Holding signs reading “Fishing Hurts”, the topless mermaids were there to tell people about the suffering that fish endure when they are caught and killed for food.

The lovely ladies braved the wet weather (at least it was appropriate to the theme!) and got lots of attention. Meanwhile, two activists handed out leaflets to the crowds to inform them of the cruelty of angling. Many people stopped to ask for more information and were surprised to learn the reality of this supposedly peaceful past time and the suffering it causes.

Fish are smart, fascinating and sensitive animals and harming them, whether for so-called “sport” or for food, is never acceptable. Fish suffer unspeakable horrors when they are caught. The moment they are dragged from the water, they begin to slowly suffocate, and many have their throats ripped out when anglers remove the hook.

Scientists have shown time and time again that fish do feel pain, despite what anglers may tell you. Fish have complex nervous systems, and the nerves in their mouths and lips are particularly sensitive. Their response to pain may not match that of mammals, but do not assume that because fish cannot scream they do not suffer. They do!

Like every other animal, fish deserve to be treated with respect. Those that get a kick out of hurting defenceless animals might want to check out the “Help and Resources” page on our new website for advice on making lifestyle changes and focusing their energies on more compassionate activities. And of course, the best thing that anyone can do to help fish and other animals is to switch to a vegan diet. Click here to request a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit.


  • Sarah commented on August 17, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Do I even have to say it… -sigh-

  • Omni commented on August 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    my little girl is 6 yrs old. me and her mother live seperate lives. i am a vegetarian and her mother thinks its rediculus. one day my little girl and i were @ a local retail store and she saw spongebob fishing poles. she said “ooooo daddy daddy,,buy me a fishing pole so we can go fishing!!” i told her that i dont fish. when she asked me why, i told her “daddy doesnt fish because daddy doesnt like to hurt fish. when people go fishing, the fish die.” i was proud to hear my daughter say on her own free will “daddy, i dont want to hurt the fish either. nevermind”. just something to share.

  • mickijay commented on August 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Yes! fish have feelings and Yes! they are entitled to live too. I would never fish and I live in a fishing coastal community where everyone fishes. I always hope the fish wins.

  • tparks commented on August 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I like to fish, eating fish is healthy for you, people have been eating fish for millions of years. Maybe they should be protesting the dolphin and killer whale hunting in other countries rather than just plain old fishing.

  • sarah commented on August 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    as i’ve begun beeing a vegetarian i’ve still eaten fish,but of course stopped because fish aren’t less precious than other animals,so in my eyes people who still eat fish aren’t veg,and no,i particularly paid attention that no one called myself vegetarian as i’ve still eaten fish!

  • Stephan commented on August 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I get that fish feel hurt and all, and I get this article, and the promotion.
    But how shameless can you get? Seriously, stop with the half naked models.
    K, thanks. Bye.

    • john commented on March 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      what are u a homo….ya u are, ladies keep gettin naked

  • anne commented on August 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    i really think fishing is disgusting, ive seen pictures of men proudly holding fish bigger than a human being,how long these poor things took to die god only knows!! they are often left to suffer for minutes before they suffocate and are often cut open whilst still alive as if they are “nothing”…no-one really seems to care either, its as if fish are inanimate objects, i think because they make no noise they are just unimportant for many people, even avid animal lovers……..very sad.

  • Lorena commented on August 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Now that I see this, I am so thankful that I never believed in fishing. My entire family (parents, aunt, uncles, cousins, etc.) are all meat eaters. I am the only vegeatrain. But even before I was, I have neen against all and any form of abuse. When I was 7, I went to the circus and I started thinking, “How is it possible to train wild animals to do tricks?” It seemed very unnatural. I never went again, and as I got older, I did more research, and found out the abuse. Dog fighting…my cousins boyrfriend would fight pit bulls when I was 9 and I always thought it was just mean. And now fishing…my aunt took me fishing @ age 4, and I told her I never wanted to go again because the fish looked like they were sad and hurting. This story proves how right I was!

  • Brian commented on August 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    @tparks. Eating fish isn’t naturally “good” for you by nature of it being fish. Rather, there are certain things in fish that are “good” for you, and even those can be found in a variety of other foods. Not to mention mercury in fish, nor the parasites that the majority of the fish are infected with, isn’t good for you.

  • FreeSpirit commented on August 17, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    sorry, you are NOT a vegitarian, if you consume fish….or chicken for that matter.

    Fish have feelings, fishing is wrong & always HAS been wrong, for centuries, about time people realised this.
    Eating fish is NOT healthy for you, at all. So do your research.
    And they DO protect about dolphins etc too, all are important & voiceless creatures. Yes, even little fish, that you like to stick a hook in it’s mouth. So do your research & start caring about all animals, mammals etc, that we are so blessed to live in this world with.
    Thry have no voice, we do, we care, so will continue to speak on their behalf.

  • cocky3001 commented on August 17, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Every fifth second a human child dies of starvation.
    If you want to do something good for this world perhaps you should stop worrying so much about the feelings of fish and more about your fellow human beings.

    And by the way:
    Shouln’t the animals capacity to feel be the grounds on which to judge?
    Human suffering is a tragedy. Higher animals like apes and dogs suffering is bad and should be avoided as far as possible. The plight of fish, well…not so much.

    I don’t have a problem with you not fishing, and I certainly don’t have a problem with your cute members showing off their attributes. I do however think that it would be better for the world if you did a bit more prioritizing over where to spend your efforts.
    I can guarantee you that the suffering animals in this world do not benefit from people associating animal protection with protecting the feelings of fish.

  • TannicaLove commented on August 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Okay so i completely understand the point of youprotest… Making half naked woman the center of it isn’t doing anybody justice either.

  • Jared commented on August 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    @cocky, I’m sick and tired of this point being raised.. PETA ARE NOT A DAMN HUMAN RIGHTS CHARITY

    People for the Ethical Treatment of ANIMALS (not fricking humans) in the same way that Amnesty International doesn’t spend their cash helping animals, PETA doesn’t spend theirs helping humans – there are lots of human rights charities out there doing exactly that..

    And while we’re on the subject, it’s down to meat and its production that there isn’t any damn food for the starving children..

    If you cared to look around the PETA websites you’ll see a huge variety of things, not just naked ladies, but absolutely sickening acts of cruelty that they’re fighting against ffs, as well as victories they’ve achieved along the way because of their hard work

    And fish are no less important than cows, chickens, cats, dogs, monkeys, apes, horses, sheep – ALL are equal and ALL have the right to live a pain-free life – you may as well have said that women, or babies, or muslims are less important than white British men!!


  • cocky3001 commented on August 17, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    “And fish are no less important than cows, chickens, cats, dogs, monkeys, apes, horses, sheep – ALL are equal [..]”
    I beg to differ who is the tool here, friend.

    I dare to suppose you don’t think it is a sin to wash your hands to kill the germs or indeed to eat penicillin when you’re ill? How about the banana flies on your banana? Or what about the rats in the underground? Are they all equal?
    This is not a black or white question, as I hope you will agree. As I mentioned before, it seems to me that a reasonable indication of how much thought should be put into caring for the “rights” of a certain animal should depend on that animals ability to feel pain (physical and otherwise).
    Again, I think you will agree that the plights of a starfish is trivial compared to the real torture that many chimps endure. (And indeed humans)

    I do understand that PETA is for the protection of animals; but please do not preach to me about the rights of fish while people are still starving in this world.

    And please: If you ever want to be taken seriously you might want chill down, then quit resorting to ad hominem attacks and ridiculous statements like blaming starving children on meat production.

  • Amanda commented on August 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm


    Well, if you have such a problem with PETA and what it stands for the get off its site and actually do something about human rights which you obviously think are more important. Stop preaching. Both issues are equally important. Every living being is equally as important from bug to human.

  • cocky3001 commented on August 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Ah, the classic “If you don’t like it here, move to France”-argument.

    My hope by posting here is that:
    1. Perhaps I can convince someone that they might spend their energy in a better way if they want to make a better world.
    2. I think these sorts of campaigns are actually counterproductive when it comes to the protection of animals. As stated earlier, I do not think animals in need of protection will benefit from people associating animal protection with angry people claiming that fish have feelings and need protection just as much as apes and dogs.

    If I am wrong, please do show me the right path.

  • KT commented on August 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I’d happily become a topless mermaid for Peta if it gets even just one person to stop eating fish/stop fishing.

  • cocky3001 commented on August 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Almost forgot the best part:
    “Stop preaching. Both issues are equally important. Every living being is equally as important from bug to human”
    1.How is this not preaching?
    2.How is this not utter nonsense? Of course stepping on a bug is different than squashing a chimpanzee. Just like hurting a human being is different than fishing. Come on!

  • Char commented on August 17, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Of course any publicity is good publicity, and convincing people not to eat fish can never be a bad thing, BUT
    it upsets me a little to see PETA buying into the 21st century outlook on life that ethics/ facts/ logic are equal (at best) to… well… boobs.

    Perhaps it is the only way, but I’d like to think there’s still people who’d go veg for the right reasons, not because naked ladies told them to.

  • Patrick Britton commented on August 17, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    “people have been eating fish for millions of years”

    I’m sure slave traders felt the same way. If it’s been done for so long, it must be right, right?

  • Patrick Britton commented on August 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    “I do understand that PETA is for the protection of animals; but please do not preach to me about the rights of fish while people are still starving in this world.”

    If you are so worried about feeding the hungry perhaps you should get behind sources of food that can be grown and doesn’t have to be killed. How about we stop feeding most of the world’s corn and grain to cows that are just getting slaughtered for human consumption?

    Worried about hunger, then worry about that. And while people of Peta definitely care about hungry people around the world the organization is here to focus on ANIMAL ABUSE and NEGLECT. Perhaps you should spend a little time educating yourself on the fish trade. Do you really think it’s a bunch of humble fisherman, catching their fair share? Think again. That is not how the industry works.

    Educate yourself.

  • Amanda commented on August 17, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    okay. im not saying move to france. just to stop wasting your time on here.

    I am a human rights activist as well as an animal activist. I understand your opinion. Every living creature is important but maybe just not to you. Animals are obviously on this earth for a reason and if people are doing bad things to them they need to be protected. If a person caused a problem, its our obligation to fix it. I am not angry person claiming fish feel pain. Just because they can’t speak doesn’t mean they don’t feel pain. All living creatures do. Why don’t you stop and actually do something about human right instead of saying how ridiculous some peoples opinions are and trying to change them.

  • tiffany commented on August 17, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    1) i agree w/ stephan, the nude models need to stop. u shouldnt have to strip down just to get noticed!!!!!
    2) i also agree w/ anyone that doesnt believe veggie accepts ANY animals.
    3) i dont know what ppl here mean by fish feeling things, unless its emotional, cuz my dad told me fish dont feel anything, so it doesnt hurt them to get beat up against rocks, etc. while trying to travel thru the stream. of course, he has been wrong in the past…
    4) fishing is dead anyway. u just sit/stand there waiting for a fish to bite. how exciting!!!!! NOT.

  • tiffany commented on August 17, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    “the topless mermaids were there to tell people about the suffering that fish endure”
    ya…. i wonder what the TOPLESSNESS is supposed to tell us… & yes im sure they DID get “lots of attention”, esp. from guys! honestly, im totally fed up with the completely unecessary nudity. im willing to protest myself, but if im required to show off my privates just to do so, they can forget it.

  • bunny commented on August 20, 2010 at 2:16 am

    =o! i wish i could do this sort of stuff! dressing up AND helping animals omg 8D

    omni i think you’re fantastic for teaching your daughter to respect all the living things ^-^ all parents should be like you 😀

  • lexplex_ commented on August 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Sure, fishing is wrong, and I’m all for campaigning to that effect, but how many people did two topless women in a shopping centre in Nottingham convince to never eat fish again?

    Rest assured, if they were blokes, or less attractive, or modestly clothed, no-one would’ve batted an eyelid. People who support the cause already would’ve come up and voiced encouragement, but how many meat eating people would’ve been swayed in their opinion by public nudity? If anything, the nudity was a distraction from the key message, and was more a cause for amusement or embarrassment than actual thought.

    I would wager that some people were too embarrassed to come up and ask for more information because of the topless women. The time and effort could’ve been spent on a giant grotesque papier maché mackerel with a hook in its mouth or something which would have drawn the eye of passers by and stuck in their memory the next time they pick up a tin of fish at the supermarket.

    If anything, topless mermaids will make fish seem tastier…

  • Jasmine Chen commented on August 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

    i think its a good idea. those of you who don’t are simply wasting your breath.

  • Rachael C commented on August 27, 2010 at 11:02 am

    I am one of the girls in the photo, and I would like to point out to you that if we kept our clothes on, no one would bat an eyelid. We got attention from everybody not just men, as people wanted to know why we were doing what we were doing. We had the chance to explain the pain fish experience and leave them with something to think about.

    Take second to imagine that you went to reach for something to eat and suddenly a giant hook goes through your hand and your dragged into the air (your hand holding all your body weight) and into and enviornment where you cannot breathe. That’s how fish feel. Even if they are thrown back in.

  • Colin Carp commented on August 27, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Seriously, you 2 girls need to get a job!

    The one on the right is cute.

    Surely you would be better off modeling.

    At least you would be paid for it!

    If you don’t like meat then just sop eating it.

    Pretty simple if you ask me, no need to tell the whole world about it.

  • Rachael C commented on September 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I have a job, freelance design work and a uni course thanks very much Colin and I haven’t eaten meat in about 3 years…

    Well it was because of PETA supporters Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin writing a book called Skinny Bitch that i learnt about the cruelty that animals have to suffer so that we can eat meat… And it wasn’t written in a subtle way.
    Sorry but being subtle about animal cruelty isn’t effective, demos like this make people stop and think, and for the cruelty involved if I could tell the whole world about it I would happily.
    I’m glad you think the girl on the left is cute.. She is, and she was wiked to work with.

    It’s not like modelling and taking our clothes off to get paid, it’s about spreading the word of animal cruelty and getting people to listen.

  • jimboo commented on September 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    What “feelings” do fish have? How does a creature like a fish look “sad”. Hooks ripped out of their throat? Omni , indoctrination it’s a form of cruelty.

  • rich commented on December 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I was been a angler for 11 years! Being a fishermen no way to tell how large penis is, that it!! Those girls at PETA have virginas the size of a pea!

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