Sharks Become Victims of Aquarium Trade as Demand Increases in Asia and Middle East

We already know that 98 percent of all fish transported in the aquarium trade end up dying or are already dead before they arrive. And sharks, well, they just don’t have it any better with the shark fin trade that kills 100 million of them every year.

Now sharks are facing a similar threat as other marine fish, since they are in high demand right now at public aquariums in Asia and the Middle East.

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“People like to see large fish in aquariums, so there’s a big market for this,” said Drew Christman, director of sales for forwarder Four Star Cargo, one of the aquarium world’s marine animal transporters, via Air Cargo World.

Four Star Cargo of Miami, Fla., carries both saltwater and freshwater fish across the world. Most recently, a Singapore resort requested the company’s services in transporting sharks, spotted eagle rays, an Atlantic grouper, and some tropical fish to his aquarium, reports Air Cargo World.

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It’s very risky to transport any marine fish long distances, and especially sharks, whose lifespans in captivity are also quite low (some dying just within a year).

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how “safe” transport is made – wild animals, even those considered “captive bred,” should not be in captivity. They are not spectacles to be gawked at or pretty decorations for hotels and homes. They are needed in the wild, and that’s exactly where they should remain (or in the safe environment of a sanctuary).

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Image source: rumpleteaser / Flickr