Despite the popular belief that fish are easy to care for and within the reach of a child, fish have very specific needs. These are animals that have found a way to survive in the ocean for over 500 million years! This is an incredible amount of time spent developing and adapting to its habitat – a habitat that no aquarium can compete with.
Here are some interesting fish facts that will make you take them seriously:
They are much smarter than you think.
Researchers have found that fish recognize each other and gather information by spying around. They can remember the social interactions they have had with other fish, and they show affection by shaking each other. Dr. Sylvia Earle, one of the world’s leading marine biologists, said:
I wouldn’t intentionally eat sea bass, just like I wouldn’t eat a cocker spaniel. They have such a good character, they are so curious. You know, fish are sensitive, they have character, they get offended when they are offended.
They feel pain
Fish have a complex nervous system and react to painful stimuli like all animals: their breathing quickens, their muscles contract, and they try to escape. Dr. Donald Broom, scientific adviser to the UK government, says that anatomically, physiologically and biologically, the nervous system of fish (which interprets pain signals) is almost the same as that of mammals. Joaquin Phoenix portrays the suffering of a fish in this powerful video he made for PETA:
By buying tropical fish, you can contribute to the extinction of the species
More than 20 million fish are caught each year to support a $300 million global hobby. Some species, such as the Banggai cardinal fish, are endangered due to overfishing to meet the needs of the aquarium industry.
Many “domestic” fish have probably been stolen from the wild.
An estimated 95% of marine fish sold in pet stores come from the wild, mainly from the waters of Fiji, Indonesia, the Philippines and other Pacific Islands.
These are social animals that languish in small aquariums.
Fish communicate with each other using a series of low frequency sounds to get attention, sound an alarm, or comply. A behavioral ecologist from the University of Bern, Switzerland, said: “Fish have one of the most complex social systems known. […] You see how the fish help each other. You see cooperation and forms of reciprocity. »
Most likely, we are descended from the ancestors of today’s fish.
Fish are the oldest group of vertebrates, and many of our human features, such as our articulated jaw, are descended from them. Fish were the first to have rudimentary teeth, skull and spinal cord around 550 million years ago!
When you buy freshwater fish, you support a greedy industry
About 90% of these fish are farmed. Goldfish, for example, are commonly raised in giant aquariums in facilities that produce up to 250 million fish a year. Tropical fish sales are estimated at $200 million to $300 million a year worldwide.
Misconceptions about fish create bad conditions for them
For example, many people believe that fighting fish can survive without regular feeding and live in a “complete ecosystem”. Their aquarium can only consist of a vase and a plant, and therefore the fish are doomed to a dull and lonely life and a slow starvation. In the wild, bettas live in shallow, slowly flowing streams and rice fields. In captivity, bettas need large tanks (at least 10 liters per fish) and temperatures maintained between 24-28 degrees Celsius.
The fish will surprise you
There are about 30,000 species of fish, more than half of all known vertebrates. Some species of fish can “fly”, others can climb trees, and some are even able to change from male to female and vice versa.
How can you help the fish
Never support businesses like pet stores that prioritize profits over animals. Rescue groups and reputable local shelters often have fish in need of a new home. If you or someone you know already owns aquatic animals, also make sure that the water temperature during the winter months is consistently within the appropriate range for the animal. In addition, captive fish require plenty of water, good filtration, climate control, regular tank cleaning and intensive enrichment. You can also make their lives easier by providing them with an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible.
Finally, the best course of action for fish is to stop eating them. Get started on a vegan diet today and order our free Vegan Beginner’s Guide to get you started: