Emma Thompson and Mark Rylance and other stars are taking part in an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of overfishing. Nothing unusual about that, you might think, until you see the photos from the campaign, featuring the celebrities posing nude with fish.

The Fishlove campaign is aimed at persuading diners to choose less well-known fish such as spratt and herring in order to protect cod and bream stocks.

Emma ThompsonEmma Thompson

It was organised by Covent Garden fish restaurant J Sheekey Oyster Bar, who commissioned photographer Jill Edelstein to take the pictures. Among the other celebs to take part were actress Miriam Margoyles, Dougray Scott, Alex Jennings, Chipo Chung and ‘Game of Thrones’ star Jodhi May.

Thompson, 56, is well known as a vocal supporter of environmental causes, posed with her husband Greg Wise and a couple of black scabbard-fish.

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“You do feel a little guilty holding a huge dead fish while you are very much alive, but by doing this Fishlove portrait with a deep-sea black scabbard-fish we want to make clear the message: if we don’t end the overfishing and pollution of the ocean, all these beautiful creatures are threatened. In particular, deep-sea fishing is unsustainable, unnecessary and should stop.”

Mark RylanceMark Rylance

56 year old Rylance, who won the Best Supporting Actor and BAFTA for his role in ‘Bridge of Spies’ this year, remarked about posing with a smooth-hound shark: “I felt I was holding a very old being. Our skins were very different, mine smooth and soft, hers, like sandpaper, yet somehow similar as well. Fish are a mystery to me. They are like creatures from dreams. They are evolution.”

“They are also limited and I believe we must create great wildlife parks in the oceans where no human pursues the fish in order to sustain their livelihood and our own.”

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