At the Aquarium of Paris, a Refuge for Abandoned Goldfish 1

At the Aquarium of Paris, a Refuge for Abandoned Goldfish

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Nearly 50 goldfish are deposited at the Aquarium of Paris every month to offer them a new life

From the little jar to the big bath: the Aquarium of Paris welcomes abandoned goldfish, sometimes regrets, by their owners during the summer, transforming the site to 10,000 specimens in aquatic refuge.

“He was in a little jar, I think it will be better here”: Alexander, 32, came to drop Némo, the goldfish of a friend who was going on vacation.

“It’s better than throwing it in the sink.”

50 fish brought each month

They do not want to take care of it any more, they move or wish to change the air of their animal with fins, they are about fifty every month to cross the doors of the Aquarium of Paris, located in Trocadéro, to come to deposit their little fish. Some with tears in their eyes, a sign of the hard choice, long weighed with family or friends, to separate from Bubble.

Reds, but also yellows, tigers or blacks; Anniversary gifts or won in fair … Since the establishment began playing this role of refuge two years ago, 600 fish have come to swell the 7,500 specimens housed in the Aquarium which also hosts 2500 jellyfish.

Placed in quarantine for more than one month in the aquarium, the small “carassius auratus” receive as a precaution an antibiotic treatment and antiparasites. “Some arrive weak. Transport and the change of life, it increases their stress, “says Céline Bezault, aquarium healer at the Aquarium.

Fragile, a small part of the animals do not survive their move. But those who pass the quarantine stage will be transferred to basins where they are presented to the public and their existence will radically change.

Abandoned goldfish, placed in quarantine at the Aquarium of Paris.
Abandoned goldfish, placed in quarantine at the Aquarium of Paris. (© AFP / JOEL SAGET)

New life

New space for a new life: no more time spent wandering against the glass of the little jar. Goldfish, a gregarious species, can swim in groups in much larger pools. And resume their growth, stopped clean when they are confined in a jar. “Some can measure up to 20 or 30 centimeters,” notes Céline Bezault.



Behind this reception of small suffering fish points the issue of animal welfare. “I think there is a general awareness that animal abuse is a real problem,” says Aquarium Director Alexis Powilewicz, considering that having an ornamental fish in poor conditions is a form abuse.

The legislation of some European countries also prohibits to live his goldfish in a small jar, ensures the team of the Aquarium.

Morgan Percher, an employee of the institution, adds:

“For a fish to live in good conditions, it takes four things: at least 100 liters of water, it is not all alone, a filter system and sets in the aquarium.”

Domesticated for millennia, especially in China, selected for their beauty over the centuries, the goldfish should know at the Aquarium of Paris a better fate than some, whose existence often ends in a flush of flush or in a sink.

And the link with their former owner is not necessarily broken: several months later, some come back to see their animal at the Aquarium. Although it is difficult to know with certainty where among the dozens of residents, is their little goldfish.

At the Aquarium of Paris, a Refuge for Abandoned Goldfish 2

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