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Sharks Freed From Cramped Tanks

Written by PETA | April 11, 2011

Patrons of a California pet-store chain were appalled when they saw black-tipped reef sharks displayed in small tanks. As is the case with most captive sharks, these animals were swimming into the tanks’ glass walls, resulting in chronic injuries. 

After PETA was alerted to the sharks’ plight last summer, we convinced the chain  to release one injured shark so that the animal could receive veterinary care and be given a new home; the chain also said that it would not place sharks in new stores. But after another shark was injured a couple months ago and PETA posted an action alert on its website, the pet store made the compassionate decision to release all its sharks to more species-appropriate facilities.

Sharks naturally roam for miles in the ocean. In captivity, they often exhibit neurotic behaviors as a result of stress, including repetitively swimming into the sides of their tanks. Confinement also deprives them of engaging in natural behaviors such as foraging for food, choosing mates, raising their young, and exploring reefs.

Please, don’t patronize any pet stores, aquariums, or other businesses that sell live animals or use them as “props.”

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Sea Save Inc. says:

    Funny how the TWO Blacktip reef sharks Quality Marine had for sale has now off the In-stock list. Wonder where they ended up at?

  • Sea Save Inc. says:

    Blue Zoo Aquatics selling Blacktip reef sharks, $3499.95. Quality Marine selling Blacktip reef sharks $1500 wholesale. Listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN list. Dynasty Marine in Florida selling Nurse sharks to Pet Stores. This needs to STOP!

  • Ozzie says:

    Who the hell would want to have a shark in the first place? I find it incredible that pet stores in a developed country would allow such a thing to occur! I found it sickening to see the photo of the poor shark in that small tank, it made me feel sick to the stomach. These pet stores need to be made accountable for what they sell. ie restrict the types of animals allowed to be sold, and have regular animal welfare reviews.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have a question. There is an aquarium that more of a marine conservation facility. The tanks and scapes are rather large and they only house fish and marine mammals who have been injured and can no longer survive out in the wild. They have a marine veterinary facility inside the aquarium and seem to take extraordinarily good care of the creatures. Most of the staff are volunteers and almost all of their income goes to the upkeep of the facility and food for the animals. Is this an OK place to go to? Do you think that it is exploitation and I should avoid this place?

  • pj54 says:

    Maybe if you voice you tell them that you have voiced your concerns to PETA, they will release the animal to your care for you to turn over to a sanctuary where it might be freed back to its environment. Just a thought. Better than just abandoning the poor thing. If you live near Magnolia, I will try to help you.

  • Wendy says:

    There is a large fish….i think it may be an Oscar(??) in a bar where i live, that languishes in a tiny tank and has for years. I feel so incredibly sad for him and have always voiced my concern for him when i used to go there (i don;t anymore cause it upsets me to see him that much!!) But what is the most concerning is the noise level when bands play there. I mean it must just drive the poor fish insane. I wish there was something more i could do for him 🙁

  • Erika Charles says:

    WHOMEVER, is doing this – taking majestic creatures that r SUPPOSE to b in great varied beautiful oceans we have, trapping them and confining them to such small tanks that they injure themselves should b strung up or even better thrown in shark tank for food themselves. These r beautiful creatures that have been proven to not mess with us unless they think we r food or we mess with them – u should b ashamed of urselves and ur NOT human beings

  • elispeed says:

    This is wonderful news. I’ve seen sharks in small, cramped tanks in several petshops and sushi restaurants before, and they seemed to be in so much stress. Its good to see that something is being done about this so these animals can live on with the freedom that they are initially supposed to have.