20th August 2021

New research by Freedom for Animals has revealed how many animals in aquariums in Great Britain are in need of conserving. Using aquariums’ own data from stocklists, the charity has collated and analysed the species held and their conservation status. Aquariums and zoos often use conservation as a justification for keeping animals captive but this new research exposes the fact that the vast majority of fish, amphibians and reptiles are not threatened in the wild. 

Freedom for Animals' Director, Sam Threadgill, said:

Time and time again aquariums use conservation as a reason to hold animals captive. The reality is that thousands of animals are held captive even when they don’t need conserving at all. Fish in aquariums live a life that bears little resemblance to the wild - vague notions of 'conservation' are no longer excuses to justify their imprisonment 

Research was carried out on 22 out of 43 open public aquariums in Great Britain. The study 'A Study of the Conservation Status of Species Held in British Aquariums' uncovers that 966 species are present in aquariums in Great Britain, with 35,278 individual fish held captive in the 22 aquariums.

Key Findings:

  • 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

Read more of the findings HERE