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Tragedy strikes Berlin’s AquaDom: A Wake-Up Call for Fish Welfare

At the end of 2022, a devastating incident shook the aquatic world when Berlin’s AquaDom aquarium suffered a catastrophic explosion. The incident caused one million litres of water to flood the hotel premises and resulted in the tragic loss of all but 30 of the 1,500 fish housed within.

Ethical Seafood Research (ESR) and its founder, Wasseem Emam, responded to this heartbreaking event by highlighting a crucial concern — that fish welfare should extend beyond mere containment and instead, should consider their natural instincts and behaviours.

It’s nearly impossible for fish kept in a cramped aquarium to engage in their natural behaviours,”  – Wasseem Emam, Founder of Ethical Seafood Research.

Wasseem went on to underscore the importance of creating environments that cater to the inherent requirements of aquatic species. His insights serve as a wake-up call, urging those that keep aquatic animals in captivity to reassess the way they house and care for them.

Fish confined in cramped aquariums face significant obstacles in exhibiting their natural behaviours. The limitations imposed by such environments prevent fish from accessing live feed, experiencing essential temperature variations, fulfilling their reproductive needs and freely congregating in loose social structures in the middle of the water column.

This tragic incident at the AquaDom highlights the urgent need for improved standards and practices in aquariums worldwide. ESR proudly stands as a vocal advocate for fish welfare, encouraging stakeholders such as aquariums to prioritise spacious and enriched habitats that enable fish to lead lives in line with their natural behaviour and instincts.

Together we can ensure that fish in captivity are granted the opportunity to thrive and exhibit their innate behaviours. Join us in championing the cause of fish welfare in the aquarium trade and in working towards a future where aquatic animals are treated with the compassion and respect they deserve.