Fondation Franz Weber

„NO to the Ozeanium“-Committee Press Release from 21 December 2018

4,649 valid signatures: Basel voters to decide the fate of the Ozeanium!

An early Christmas present for the „NO to the Ozeanium referendum committee: with 4,649 valid signatures, the referendum on the „Ozeanium in Basel is now officially on its way. The campaign obtained more than twice the number of certified signatures than would have been necessary! This decisive result feeds the hope that voters will reject the construction of this unsustainable large aquarium. The date of the vote has not yet been set, but the “No”-committee is already on the starting blocks ready to lead a convincing campaign against the fish tank on the Heuwaage in Basel.

Only 2,000 signatures would have been needed, but the campaign attracted more than double that: according to the press release published by the State Chancellery of the canton of Basel-City in its Kantonsblatt (gazette), 4,649 legal voters signed the referendum ‟against the decision of the Grand Council dated 17 October 2018, pertaining to counsel on the Ozeanium”. Vera Weber, President of Fondation Franz Weber, who has spent many years spearheading a campaign against the planned Ozeanium in Basel, described the high number of signatures collected within such a short time as a ‟clear signal that the concept of the ‘aquarium’ is outdated and unwanted, and a clear signal that animal wellbeing and ocean protection are considered of vital importance!”.

The ‟NO to the Ozeanium” referendum committee formed in October 2018 in response to the fatal decision by the Grand Council of Basel-City canton to support construction of the ‟Ozeanium”. The referendum was called by the Basel-City Green Party – supported by Fondation Franz Weber, Animal Rights Switzerland, OceanCare, Greenpeace Basel, VCS beider Basel, Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (Center of Excellence for Animals in Law, Ethics and Society), Junges grünes Bündnis Nordwest (Young Green Federation Northwest), Network for Animal Protection NetAP as well as fair-fish International & fairfish Switzerland. The committee will now use the quiet time over the new year period to hone its campaign. Encouraged by this clear result, we are looking forward to fighting for a city that is still innovative and forward-thinking ‒ without a wholly unnecessary Ozeanium.


Contact details for further information:

  • Grüne Basel-Stadt, Thomas Grossenbacher, Grand Council, 079 220 60 86
  • Fondation Franz Weber, Vera Weber, President, 079 210 54 04
  • Animal Rights Switzerland, Pablo Labhardt, Managing Director, 079 345 99 13
  • Greenpeace Basel, Christoph Arndt, Office Partner, 078 621 79 95 / Zoë Roth, Media spokesperson, 079 921 72 67

Additional supporting organisations:
OceanCare, Junges grünes Bündnis NordWest, Stiftung für das Tier im Recht, VCS beider Basel, Network for Animal Protection NetAP, fair-fish International & fair-fish Switzerland

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