Clare Rugg, from Living Coasts, said: “The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the problem of fish that grow larger than home aquaria can accommodate, and to promote responsible buying and selling of these larger species.”

The Big Fish Campaign was set up by the National Aquarium Workshop and the BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Aquarium Working Group.

“Fish of all shapes and sizes are imported into the UK, arrive in pet shops and are sold to unwary customers who do not expect their pet fish to grow to such enormous sizes. They are left with a big problem and they turn to their local aquarium for help.

“Zoos and aquaria get inundated with public donations of all sorts of fish species. The public may see this as the perfect solution to their problem, but it creates a problem for us. It can be very difficult to mix donated stock with our own stock and we often lack the space to provide a purpose-built home for donated fish.”

Over a period of just 4 months, 11 UK aquaria were asked to house 144 fish that had outgrown their owners' tanks. The campaign aims to raise public awareness about the need to make sensible, informed decisions when choosing pet fish.

“People need to research the sort of fish species they wish to own and so reduce the problem of aquaria being pressurised into accepting these big fish. Big fish need big homes!”

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