Stereotypic behaviour, ill health and high death rates have been uncovered through an investigation by Freedom for Animals. The investigation, carried out between 2020 to 2021, included visits to aquariums in England and examination of inspection reports of aquariums in Great Britain. 

The investigator observed: 

  • Lifeless animals
  • Crowded tanks
  • Animals exhibiting abnormal behaviour - an indicator of stress
  • Visibly ill animals

The charity examined inspection reports from the aquariums for any welfare concerns that had been raised by zoo inspectors. Crowded tanks were often highlighted by the inspectors but of particular concern was that several aquariums were not investigating deaths sufficiently, or even keeping records. Even in an aquarium where deaths were particularly high, action was not being taken. Sadly, animals in aquariums can simply be replaced and their deaths can be kept hidden from the visiting public. 

Sam Threadgill, Director of Freedom for Animals said:

Whilst many are aware of the suffering caused by zoos to land animals, few are aware that similar horrific problems are present in aquariums. Often driven mad by captivity and their unnatural surroundings, fish are the forgotten victims of the zoo and aquarium industry.They belong in the open ocean, not a tiny tank. 

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