SOS Position Statement:


SOS supports the housing of smaller, non migratory, species in suitably sized displays, by non-profit aquariums and institutions that clearly promote conservation and public awareness. Only experienced operators should carry out these activities, responsibly and with due regard for the safety of both the animals and the public. Every attempt should be made to limit physical interactions between the animals and humans (staff and the public), to ensure that the animals are not unnecessarily stressed.  This includes, but is not limited to, banning the use of touch pools and flash photography, and having adequate space and shelter for the animals to retreat to away from public viewing windows.

SOS does not, however, support the housing of large migratory sharks or rays in aquariums (including, but not limited to, whale sharks and manta rays), due to the unsuitability of these species to captivity [1][2][3]. It is our belief that these species, which typically migrate thousands of miles every year for feeding and mating, are not appropriate for keeping in captivity; instead, aquariums should set up displays that promote ecotourism, where people can observe these animals in their natural environment.



Our view on this issue is based on the most current scientific literature, where available.  However, we recognise that our knowledge of the natural world is ever changing and new discoveries are being made every day.  If you believe our position on this issues may warrant a review, based on new scientific evidence, please send us your comments and any related literature and we will endeavour to investigate and amend our position where appropriate.