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FISH FOOD: Should Aquariums Serve Fish in their Restaurants?

Seafood pasta

Fish is always considered a healthy choice to eat for most people.

Apart from vegetarians who don’t include seafood, almost everybody has eaten fish.Is it in good taste for aquarium restaurants to serve fish on their menus?

What about mollusks and crustaceans? Click on the reply button on the top left to share your views.

Over a year ago, the organization called PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) agued in a letter to Sea World to stop serving fish at their visitor food outlets because it aimed at promoting respect and conservation for marine animals.The Director of Campaigns at the time likened it to “serving poodle burgers at a dog show”

Hélène HofmanFebruary 1, 2012 13:38
Click here for the article.   

As an alternative, the Vancouver Aquarium has created a program called Ocean Wise. Based upon similar programs in aquariums around the world, it warns that the world’s marine life is being depleted and estimates that “ 90% of all large predatory fish are already gone from the world’s oceans”. Its focus is on consuming seafood in a sustainable manner.

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium has created SeafoodWatch, a sophisticated, solutions based sustainability program for restaurants and consumers of seafood to bring awareness, and support for sustainable fisheries and the use of aquaculture.

I came across the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program in Toronto at two separate restaurants. The first time, I was getting a lid for my coffee, and on the last occasion I was at the bar having a beer with friends.

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It was new information to me and caught me by surprise. I began to think it through from its perspective and felt for a moment satisfied that this was how I could make a commitment to being more fully engaged in marine ecology.

I know that fish are a better source of nutrition but I do not agree with shark tail soup. Fish farms are ok but we don’t want to farm non-native species in case they slip out of the nets and threaten the survival of our marine species.
Peta argues that eating fish is dangerous to our health because of pollutants in the ocean such as sewage and chemicals that may be absorbed into their flesh and then absorbed into our bloodstream. Another concern PETA has with fish taken from our lakes and oceans is related to rapid decompression. A quote in the article illustrates quite graphically the results of rapid decompression to fish.

Separate from the health concerns that lead from eating fish is the moral question. Do fish have feelings? Are we being cruel when we eat them? What about fish that eat fish?

This is another moral dilemma. At this point in time it is difficult to say. Where do we draw the line, hook and sinker?
Click the reply button on the top left hand corner to share your opinion. What do you think?












I’ve been thinking about the soon to be opened Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and its marketing meetings during the course of its development. Like most aquariums they would have revolved around visitor approval ratings. Even though public aquariums are popping up all across the world at an impressive rate, and that some aquariums have reduced their visitor admission fees because of higher than expected attendance levels, it’s fair to say that most aquariums will undergo an element of disapproval and concern from special interest groups and even possibly members of the general public at large.

No doubt the subject of sharks comes up in these meetings. I can imagine everyone sitting around the board table discussing the absolute necessity for shark exhibits if for no reason, and there are some good reasons, other than to simply draw in the crowds in order to secure its necessary admission levels to guarantee its own survival.

Ironically, this thought brings me straight away across the country to an exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium where the famous YouTube video of the two otters was recorded by a mom with her family. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at it here and even if you have already seen it, take another look, it’s captivating. This video has been viewed on YouTube more than 19 million times and holds the record for being one of the highest viewed ever. Now that’s what I call an attendance grabber.

What can we learn from this?  An experienced marketing friend said it boils down to being furry or fierce when it comes to public attractions. Maybe a bit of both? What are your thoughts on exhibiting sharks in public aquariums? What do you like best a tunnel or a big big, big tank. What about the otters?