Life in a Fish Bowl: PETA on Aquariums

What the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have to say about aquariums.

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recommends that people refrain from keeping aquariums. The group’s reasons include:

• Tropical fish are born to dwell in the ocean and forage along coral reefs. They suffer when forced to spend their lives enclosed in a glass aquarium.

• It’s ethically wrong to place wild animals in captivity for ornamental or hobby reasons.

• Overcollecting of aquatic animals contributes to a decline in the wild population.

• Irresponsible “harvest” of species can lead to reef degradation.

• Some fish breeders “paint” fish by injecting fluorescent dye into their bodies to make them more attractive to buyers.

• Pumps and filters necessary in the aquarium interfere with fish communications—low-frequency buzzes, clicks, and yelps that fish emit to signal courtship, alarm, or submission.

• Species meant to live in community with others are often the only one of their kind in a tank.

• Overcrowding and species incompatibility are common problems.

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