Will OdySea Aquarium’s New Restaurant Keep Fish off Its Plates?

PETA Offers to Help Aquarium's Lighthouse Café Dish Up Delicious Faux-Fish Fillets

For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2016

Sophia Charchuk, 202-483-7382

PhoenixAs construction continues on Scottsdale’s OdySea Aquarium, PETA sent a letter to the project’s developer this morning with a simple request: Keep fish off the menu at the aquarium’s restaurant, the Lighthouse Café. In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—points out that fish caught in huge commercial fishing nets suffer the agony of decompression as they are hauled up from the deep, while farmed fish spend their entire lives in filthy, cramped enclosures, making fish flesh a poor menu choice for an institution intended to teach people to respect and appreciate sea animals.

“Serving fish at an aquarium would be like serving poodle burgers at a dog show or monkey nuggets at a zoo,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA stands ready to help OdySea Aquarium serve delicious vegan faux fish, which spares beautiful, sensitive animals the pain of being netted, dragged from their ocean homes, and left to suffocate on the decks of fishing boats.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org. I can be reached at 323-767-6487 or [email protected] if you have any questions.

PETA’s letter to Amram Knishinsky, lead developer of the OdySea Aquarium, follows.

January 25, 2016

Amram Knishinsky
Lead Developer, OdySea

Dear Mr. Knishinsky,

I am writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including 60,000 across Arizona, to ask that you leave fish off the menu at the Lighthouse Café. Serving fish at an aquarium would be like serving poodle burgers at a dog show or monkey nuggets at the zoo. We urge you to serve only delicious vegan faux-fish meals instead.

As a developer of an aquarium, you must surely know that biologists have demonstrated that fish feel pain and fear, communicate, and develop relationships with one another. When fish are caught in huge commercial fishing nets and then hauled up from the deep, the intense internal pressure caused by decompression ruptures their swim bladders, pops their eyes out of their faces, and pushes their esophagi and stomachs out through their mouths. Farmed fish also suffer, as they spend their entire lives on top of each other in cramped enclosures, and flesh-eating sea lice can be so rampant on the farms that many fish have parts of their bodies eaten down to the bone. In light of this, an institution designed to teach people to respect and appreciate sea animals shouldn’t serve fish in its restaurant.

Serving fish also poses a health risk to your patrons. Fish absorb contamination from the water in which they live, so fish flesh is laced with toxins such as mercury, lead, arsenic, PCBs, pesticides, and even industrial-strength fire retardant. So in addition to being cruel, serving fish flesh may also poison your patrons.

We hope to hear that you’ll encourage visitors to stop harming and killing sea life by serving only vegan options, such as fishless filets, crabless cakes, or vegan scallops. Doing so will help encourage your guests to protect aquatic animals and their own health.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President, PETA


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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

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