|BERLIN - Environment activists piled thousands of dead fish at the foot of Berlin\'s biggest tourist attraction, the Brandenburg Gate, Tuesday in a demonstration against over-fishing and pollution in the North Sea.|
\"It\'s not the fish but the politics that really stink,\" said Bjoern Jettka, press officer for Germany\'s Greenpeace.
On a hot August day at peak tourist season, visitors to the famous neo-classical landmark were greeted by the smell of 11,000 rotting fish displayed on a 100 meter long table under banners bearing the slogan \"Don\'t waste life!.\"
\"We caught the fish in the North Sea on board the Greenpeace ship Esperanza using a standard 10 meter commercial fishing net, said Jettka. \"The net has a huge pipe attached that sucks up fish indiscriminately like a giant vacuum cleaner.\"
The dead fish on display - some 95 percent of the catch, including endangered species of octopus and sea urchin - were those that commercial crews would normally throw back overboard for failing to meet traders\' criteria.
\"Some 700,000 tons of dead fish are thrown back into the sea each year - this waste problem will affect future generations if no one takes action,\" said Greenpeace marine biologist Thomas Henningsen.
\"Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder must hear our protest.\"
Demonstrators hoped the prominent site, flanked by luxury hotels and foreign embassies, would attract attention and urge Schroeder to pressure the European Union to reduce over-fishing and pollution in the North Sea.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE