«The situation is getting worse.» – UN General Secretary António Guterres gets to the point in his opening remarks at the UN’s Ocean Conference in 2017. Nearly one third of the world’s coral reefs have already been lost.
The aquarium industry and human desire to observe fish and other creatures in captivity have played their part in the current concern. Of the over 2,000 species of coral fish and hundreds of coral species traded internationally, practically all have been taken from the wild, torn from their natural environments.
Up to 80 percent of coral fishes may die before ever reaching an aquarium due to catching, handling and transport methods. A study revealed that up to 98 percent of fish end up dying in captivity during their first year.
In aquariums, for example, sharks injure themselves on obstacles.
Carelessly thrown away: Countless coral fish die during transport to an aquarium.
Up to 80% of animals may die during capture, handling or transport ‒ long before they even reach an aquarium.
Over 90% of the Banggai cardinalfish population has been captured from coral reefs for aquariums.
The Banggai cardinalfish is considered a critically endangered species.
Millions of ornamental fish are taken from coral reefs for large aquariums.
The marine ornamental fish are temporarily stored in plastic bags and thus shipped by the thousands by plane to European aquariums.
It is virtually impossible to keep marine animal species in suitable captive conditions. In their natural habitat, sharks and rays, for example, cover distances of hundreds of kilometres, dive to great depths or live in large schools.
In confined aquariums, on the other hand, many fish get injured, suffer from deformations, become disturbed and aggressive – until they eventually perish. Fondation Franz Weber raises awareness of these ills, changes public understanding, keeps up the pressure and asks questions.
We are committed to protecting the oceans, with a particular focus on reducing overfishing. This includes the conservation of marine ornamental fishes, corals and other marine life. In aquariums, these creatures have a limited life expectancy, if they survive the exhaustive transport at all.
In particular, Fondation Franz Weber uses its role as an official observer at CITES to achieve better monitoring and control of the international ornamental fish trade within the framework of the convention.