Stunted growth means stunted lives
It’s fair to assume that not many of us consider animal cruelty or neglect to be positive things, yet in one respect the aquarium hobby is arguably among the worst offenders in the global pet trade.
In the first of a series of articles in support of BIAZA’s ‘Big Fish Campaign’ we explain why, in some cases, size really does matter…
Why are fishes viewed as disposable?
Consider for a second your favourite non-aquatic animal. Be it bird, cat, dog, chameleon or panda, would you condone it being maintained in cramped, dirty housing while being offered an inappropriate diet, with the animal unable to display natural behaviour, suffering extreme growth issues and early death as a result?
Most reasonable people would surely answer ‘no’. Yet why do we as aquarists, and the ornamental fish industry in general, appear to turn a blind eye when it comes to fishes which clearly grow too large for the vast majority of home aquaria?
The popular view appears to remain that fishes have not evolved the neuro-anatomical and physiological characters that permit sentience, despite scientific evidence suggesting that they do in fact percieve pain, fear, and stress in pretty much the same way as tetrapods (Chandroo et al., 2004).
Ergo, the same myths and excuses regarding ‘big’ fishes continue to be peddled and their availability remains undiminished.
(Read more) Seriously Fish
Every time I see gator gars, bala sharks, pacu, arowana, oscars and the like for sale without clearly communicated requirements, or hear ‘what’s the biggest fish I can put in my 10 gallon?’ I smh. It isn’t all about you, it’s about tending to the needs of an animal properly and enjoying the process of getting up a great living space for them. When people say that I don’t presume they’re a soulless jerk, it’s as the OP said: people don’t pay attention to it, they don’t consider them as equals to other more amiable animals, abuse is easy when there is little outcry and death is a presumed occurance. ‘Idk why my goldfish always die, I think they just aren’t meant to live for long…’ it’s THIS thinking that has gotten us into this mess.