Members of Extinction Rebellion Dorchester and Weymouth led a dramatic ‘Funeral for the Fishes’ procession through the streets of Weymouth during the Dorset Seafood Festival to highlight the plight of our exploited marine environments and threatened species.

All dressed in black and slow step-dancing to the sounds of solemn, New Orleans funeral jazz, the procession carried placards in the shape of coffins depicting the skeletons of the species that have been most affected by overfishing. ‘Grim Reapers’ carried messages of destructive fishing techniques on their scythes including ‘Ghost-fishing’, where fish and other marine animals are caught and killed in abandoned fishing nets.

Emma Smart, Marine Biologist and Extinction Rebellion Coordinator, says: “We are in a climate crisis and facing ecological collapse- the time for denial and inaction is over. Today, in Weymouth, Extinction Rebellion are acting for the future of every single person here at the Seafood Festival, in Dorset, the UK and the world. We are here to ‘Tell the Truth’ about marine exploitation and species extinction, a huge part of a wider global emergency.”

Andy Smith, Extinction Rebellion Coordinator, adds: “We are not here to spoil people’s fun, criticise their lifestyles or threaten their livelihoods, quite the opposite. Extinction Rebellion is acting to protect the future for friends and families to enjoy festivals and to safeguard the diminishing resources that local and global fishing communities rely on”

Weymouth and Portland Town Councils declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency at the end of June following in the footsteps of Dorset County Council. The public are yet to hear how they plan to tackle this emergency but Extinction Rebellion will be following their progress very closely as should everyone else.