A CONTROVERSIAL art installation and protest went ahead on Sunday despite calls to cancel it.

Artist Stephanie Lane of Speciesism.WTF premiered her work Fishing is NOT Human(e) on Sandbanks beach.

The installation ‘demonstrated the suffering of fish caught in a net’ by depicting humans in a similar experience.

This, the artist said, was to instil critical thinking on speciesism and it aimed to encourage understanding of the ‘pain and suffering caused to trillions of sentient beings by the fishing industry’.

It was also to highlight the ‘frightening consequences to the ecosystem of losing fish from UK waters’.

Dorset Echo:

As reported, concerns were raised by the council over the installation, approaching the first anniversary of the death of 17-year-old Joe Abbess and 12-year-old Sunnah Khan on Bournemouth beach.

Amanda Barrie, BCP Council director of commercial operations, previously said the authority had been clear it would not give permission to the artist for the installation.

This was ‘out of respect for the families as we approach the anniversary of last year’s tragic events’.

After concerns were raised, Ms Lane said she had redefined the event as a ‘protest’.

The installation was originally planned for Bournemouth beach, but the London-based artist said it was moved to Sandbanks ‘following local concern’ close to the anniversary of the deaths.

The event was a collaboration with animal rights organisations Save Movement and We The Free.

Dorset Echo:

Representatives from the groups were present to provide information to the public and show video footage of the ‘appalling practices of commercial fishing industries’.

The installation is now expected to be performed worldwide, Ms Lane said, as her previous work, Milk is NOT Human(e), had.

The artist pointed to a study of catch data published in The Journal of Science that predicted: “If fishing rates continue at the current levels all the world’s fisheries will have collapsed by 2048.”

Ms Lane added it is estimated up to 2.7 trillion fish are caught annually, with Alison Mood’s Fishcount Study in February 2024 showed that half of all caught fish are fed to farmed animals.