Aquariums are killing the environment

Amanda Jung/Contributing Writer

The ocean is quickly becoming depleted of organisms and part of the blame is on the animal entertainment industry.

Most of us don’t have the luxury of being able to go on a safari ride in Africa or seeing wild elephants in India. Instead, we have adopted the norm of going to the zoo or getting a day pass to the aquarium. This option has proved to be the most convenient for human beings but you might not have stopped to think about the inconvenience it has created for the animals and the environment.

When you go to the zoo or aquarium for the day, the least of your worries is what effect these businesses have on the animals or the ecosystem. But you can’t help but wonder how these animals ended up being contained in small cages and how this continuous process might result in more harm than good.

“Removing animals from the wild can have serious consequences – both for their survival as a species and for their habitat,” said Jane Lee, news writer and editor for National Geographic.

All animals play an important role when it comes to the ecosystem.

There are different classifications of organisms when it comes to the food web. According to World Ocean Review, there are two types of microorganisms: phytoplankton and zooplankton. Certain organisms fall under each of these categories and serve a certain purpose in the ocean. Essentially, every organism is a source of food for another living organism.

Whales and dolphins are two of the most popular animals in aquariums. Families go to marine parks for the day just to see massive whales leap through the air and to swim with dolphins. Simply buying a ticket to one of these parks is contributing to their endangerment.

The truth of the matter is that wild animals were never designed to be constricted to small cages and tubs of water. These creatures were built for the ocean, meant to swim hundreds of miles a day and all have an important role in the ecosystem. And according to an article by Brian Howard in National Geographic, whales in particular play a large role in a healthy ecosystem.

It doesn’t take a scientist to realize that if all these animals go extinct, then our environment will be in serious trouble. These exotic animals that once thrived in the wild are being hunted and locked up for society’s own selfish reasons.

If you are an avid visitor of the zoo or the aquarium, it’s important to seek other forms of entertainment. There are plenty of other ways for us as society to appreciate wildlife without doing any harm to the animals, or our ecosystem.

 

Disclaimer:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

 

Image retrieved from Flickr.

3 Comments on "Aquariums are killing the environment"

  1. Craig Thorburn | November 8, 2016 at 4:12 PM | Reply

    I think the author must be writing about ZOO’s and Aquariums in the 70’s and 80’s.
    The collection of wild cetaceans is a practice outlawed in most countries, as is importing wild caught cetaceans. Breeding programs in ZOO’s for the vast majority of species negates the need to collect from the wild. Similarly modern aquariums now have the opportunity to work with community fish collectors to sustainably collect fish, rather than use destructive practices such as blasting to collect fish for sale as food, these communities realise there is more value in a live health ecosystem than one fished to extinction. ZOOs and Aquariums also contribute the greatest level of funding to wild conservation programs.
    The 80’s called and they want their article back, times have changed and both society and zoos have long since moved on from the sentiments expressed in that article. Pretty lazy writing in the end which is a shame.

  2. what a load of drivel. This article totally ignores the education and conservation value of such establishments, and that’s just for a start. Fair enough if you are talking about keeping large cetaceans or sharks in captivity but to make such a stunning generalisation about aquariums is laughable.

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