Big aquarium supplier stops selling fish bowls – they drive fish crazy

A major French aquarium supplier has announced that it will stop selling “classic” round fish bowls because they are so vicious, they drive fish crazy and kill them quickly.

The history of fish farming (either as food or as pets) goes back thousands of years. Normally, fish are kept in tanks or ponds, but at some point, aquariums have become quite popular, at least for some fish species. It is unclear when the fish bowl was invented, but according to legend, it was first created by Madame du Barry, mistress of King Louis XV in the 18th century. Whether this is true or not, Fish bowls became popular over the next few centuries, especially for Betta fish (Betta glamens) or goldfish (Carassius auratus).

Proponents of these fish bowls argue that since these fish cover relatively small habitats, a fish bowl is the right thing to do for them. But the evidence suggests otherwise.

It’s not just that there’s not enough space for the fish (though that’s reason enough). The shape of the fish bowl also creates a poor surface-to-air ratio and the bowl leaves no room for a filter. It also distorts the animal’s field of view and is easy to jump from.

“People buy a goldfish for their child on impulse, but if they knew it was torture, they wouldn’t do it. Going back and forth in a small bowl drives fish crazy and kills them quickly,” said AgroBiothers CEO Matthieu Lambeaux told Reuters. The company, one of the leading aquarium suppliers, has announced that it will no longer be selling any fish bowls.

In healthy conditions, goldfish can easily live up to 30 years or even more, but in fish bowls they rarely live more than a year. Germany and some other countries have banned fish bowls, but most countries (including France and the US) do not have laws on this. Lambeaux said the company has been working to educate customers, but at this point it simply refuses to offer more fish bowls – even though demand persists. In previous years, the company would sell about 50,000 bowls of fish a year.

“It’s a French backwardism, that’s why we decided to move. We cannot educate all of our customers to explain that it is cruel to keep fish in a bowl. We consider it our responsibility to no longer give consumers that choice,” Lambeaux said. He adds that fish need ample space and clean water, small bowls are driving fish crazy and anyone considering an aquarium should have minimal equipment and expertise.

The fish bowl problem is something that people have long been aware of. In a 1902 edition of Freshwater Aquarium magazine, a commentary noted that “the ordinary glass sphere … has nothing to recommend it, except perhaps for those who enjoy seeing their hapless captives hang. by chains from the ceiling in front of the window.” In 1910, botanist Hugo Mulertt noted that “the old-fashioned fishball is the worst kind of vessel that can be chosen for keeping goldfish as pets.” More than a century later, the old-fashioned fishball still stands.

The welfare of aquarium fish is often overlookedalthough the aquarium trade is currently a multi-billion dollar industry, with the legal trade estimated to be worth $15 to $20 billion per year (and a illegal industry development also).

Fish is underrated cognitive abilitiesbut as awareness and understanding of fish improves, the case for better welfare for them becomes increasingly stronger, and a movement in this sense seems to be gaining momentum.

The fact that companies are starting to acknowledge this is encouraging, but overall, it’s still a small step forward. Big aquarium supplier stops selling fish bowls – they drive fish crazy

James Brien

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