"The Dark Hobby": The Price Paid to Tank Pretty Fishes
A Fishes Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM Marc Bekoff, Psychology Today / Animal Emotions
October 2020

99% of the fishes die in personal aquariums within a year of capture and thus the demand for replacements. No tank inmate returns to the wild, except for sewage-system survivors or those released as invasive species far from home.

An interview with Robert Wintner about the damage of the Hawaii aquarium trade, producer of The Dark Hobby: All the Pretty Fishes and the Price Paid to Tank Them.

tropical fishes

"The Hawaii aquarium trade has been catching reef wildlife for U.S. and global hobby tanks for decades with no catch limits, no limit on the number of catchers, and no constraints on rare, endemic or vanishing species. Reef advocates report that fish populations and biodiversity have decreased drastically, affecting the hierarchy of marine wildlife, and believe removing fish from their natural habitat should be forbidden."

I recently watched a forthcoming film called The Dark Hobby: All The Pretty Fishes and the Price Paid to Tank Them and was caught completely unaware of the ways in which the Hawaii aquarium trade is devastating rare, endemic, or vanishing species and coral reefs. For example, 99% of the fishes die within a year of capture and demand replacement. Cyanide and dynamite are used to capture fishes in the Philippines and Indonesia, most of whom die as a result of these treatments. The trailer can be seen here.

I immediately wanted to know more about this landmark film and what was happening to these incredible sentient beings and their homes, and was pleased that Executive Producer Robert Wintner could take the time to answer a few questions. Our interview went as follows:



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