Jul 2, 2009
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Lush cosmetics boutique in Paris hosts body-piercing shark protest

Jul 2, 2009

PARIS, July 2, 2009 (AFP) - A Paris activist pierced her skin with giant fishhooks and hung herself from the ceiling of a boutique Thursday 2 July in a radical protest at the threat of extinction facing the world's sharks.

Lush cosmetics
Lush boutique on the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, Paris

Artist and animal rights activist Alice Newstead speared the skin of her shoulderblades with oversized shark fishing hooks, fitting her feet into a harness, to be hoisted up into the air.

She spent 15 minutes suspended in the window of a Lush Cosmetics store in the south of the capital, as passers-by walked along the busy boulevard, her skin stretched upward and streaked with blood.

The company has linked up with the Sea Shepherd environmental organisation to campaign against overfishing threatening sharks with extinction.

Some 100 million sharks are caught in commercial and sports fishing every year, and several species have declined by more than 80 percent in the past decade alone, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

Sought after for their meat, fins, cartilage and oil, a third of all open water sharks -- including the great white and hammerhead -- face extinction, according to a major conservation survey released last week.

Collapsing shark populations have already severely disrupted at least two coastal marine ecosystems, marine biologists warn.

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