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Say no thanks to fish tanks

Take action Say no thanks to fish tanks

Take the pledge!

By taking the pledge to say ‘No thanks to fish tanks,’ you are making a commitment to stand up for fishes in captivity. Here are five simple ways to make a difference to the lives of our underwater friends and to teach the next generation to be kind to fishes.

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Don’t support aquariums

Keeping animals in captivity is becoming less acceptable to Kiwis. Aquariums do not allow fishes to express their natural behaviour and offer only a fraction of the space fishes need.
Whether you’re writing to your kids’ school or simply voting with your wallet by not visiting aquariums, you’ll be creating a kinder future for fishes.

Instead of aquariums, why not explore your local rock pools or watch an underwater documentary? Swimming, snorkelling and diving are also great ways to observe fishes in their natural habitat.

Teach our tamariki to respect the ocean

It’s our job to instil compassion in young people and challenge the social conditioning they will be exposed to, growing up in Aotearoa.

Fishes are sentient and value their freedom, just as we do, and children have no problem understanding this. But this compassion is undermined when we display fishes in tanks and normalise violence towards them. Teaching our tamariki to respect the ocean and all its inhabitants will ensure that the next generation is kinder to fishes.

Don't keep fishes as pets

Contrary to popular belief, fishes do not make good first pets for children. The needs of fishes are far more complex than the needs of cats and dogs, making it easy to unwittingly compromise their welfare or create elevated stress levels that can sometimes result in death. Simply over-feeding fishes, moving them or not paying attention to water temperature and acidity levels can have a disastrous result.

Fishes do not want to swim in circles inside a bowl or tank or be put on display like a painting. When we invite animals into our lives and families, it should be mutually beneficial. Fishes gain nothing from being kept in captivity ‒ instead they are deprived of all that is natural to them.

If you already have fishes as pets, you can help them by making their surroundings as close to their natural environment as possible, with plenty of enrichment, places to hide and as much space as you are able to give them.

Speak up when you see fishes in captivity

Whether you’re speaking out against a proposed school trip to the local aquarium or are checking into a hotel with a fish tank in the reception area, it’s important to give feedback and express your views – that you think fishes belong in the wild. The more people who speak out for fishes, the stronger our voice. Together, we can change attitudes and give fishes the voice they deserve.

Want to swim the extra mile for fishes?

Print off the educational infographic below and deliver it to businesses that keep fishes in tanks, such as:

– Hotel receptions
– Restaurants
– Schools
– Waiting rooms

This document can help inform people about the needs of fishes and encourage them to choose kinder alternatives when they are ready to retire their fish tank.

Colour infographic

Colour infographic

If you're printing in colour, use this version.

Black and white infographic

Black and white infographic

If you're printing in black and white, use this version.

All the flavours of the sea without harming fishes

Take the Fish-Free Challenge

We can all do our bit to protect the ocean and all who call it home. Take the Fish-Free Challenge today and discover delicious fish-friendly recipes, products and tips on eating out.

Try plant-based!

Eat with kindness

Get ready to be inspired by how enjoyable, easy and delicious it can be to live in a way that is kinder to our planet and all who live on it.

Donate today

Help us continue helping animals in need

As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every gift goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals. SAFE is a registered charity in New Zealand (CC 40428). Contributions of $5 or more are tax-deductible.