Aquariums hold tens of thousands of animals captive, including thousands of fish, amphibians and reptiles. Their lives are reduced to the confines of a tank, exhibited for the visiting public. Aquariums often claim they are contributing to conservation efforts. It is no secret that the oceans and marine species are under threat due to over-fishing, habitat loss and climate change, but are aquariums really helping to conserve species in the wild? Freedom for Animals investigated the conservation status of species held in aquariums in Great Britain. Using the stocklists of 22 aquariums, our research established the following key findings: 

Key Findings:

  • 966 fish species are held in aquariums in Great Britain
  • 92% of fish species in aquariums in Great Britain are not threatened in the wild
  • 80% of amphibians held captive in aquariums in Great Britain are not under threat in the wild
  • Just 2% of globally threatened fish species are kept in aquariums in Great Britain
  • 0.3% of amphibian species that are under threat worldwide are kept in aquariums in Great Britain

*Figures have been rounded; IUCN refers to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Conservation status was established using the IUCN Red List. 

A study into the conservation status of species in aquariums in Britain

Click HERE to read the full report.

Our research clearly shows that the majority of species held in aquariums are not under threat in the wild. Beautiful tropical fish are kidnapped from the wild to live out their lives in captivity, a life of restriction, unable to swim freely. Our investigation also found various welfare concerns in aquariums in England - read more HERE.

How you can help:

  1. Read the report above to find out more and share with friends and family
  2. Take the pledge to not visit an aquarium! 
  3. Donate to help us expose the aquarium industry further and fight for the freedom of all animals