Few people realize the magnitude of suffering in the captive fish industry—a $300 million worldwide "hobby" responsible for the annual capture of more than 20 million fish, 12 million corals, and millions of other types of marine life.
At least 95 percent of the gentle saltwater fish sold in pet shops have been cruelly ripped from their natural homes.
Trappers douse coral reefs with poison in order to stun the fish for easy capture—half the affected fish die painfully on the reef, and 40 percent of survivors die before they reach an aquarium.
The cyanide poison that is routinely used in this cruel practice also kills the reefs themselves as well as countless other animals who live and depend on them. In places where trappers do not use cyanide, such as in the waters of Hawaii, nets are used to capture the animals.
Almost 67 percent of animals who are caught with nets die from stress, starvation, or injuries. Many fish suffer barotrauma, which occurs when they are forced to surface too quickly, and some are even subjected to organ puncturing, which is done to relieve the visible effects of barotrauma, and fin clipping, which is done to facilitate shipping.
PETCO sells 439 species of saltwater animals, almost all of whom were stolen from their natural habitats.
For each animal displayed for sale on PETCO's shelves, nine other individual animals were cruelly captured and died before even reaching the store.
Please write to PETCO CEO James Myers today and urge him to stop perpetuating this cruel and environmentally devastating industry immediately by ending the sale of wild-caught saltwater animals on the PETCO website and at all of the company's stores.