Letter to dvm360: Our dying ocean is not entertainment


Coral reefs are in distress all over the world, and salt water fish are wild caughtneither should be placed in a veterinary clinics waiting room.

This letter to the editor is in reference to a recent hospital design article.

As an oceanographer and a veterinarian, I was concerned to see the photograph on page 23 of the April 2017 Vetted issue featuring what appears to be a saltwater aquarium. As you must know, coral reefs are in distress worldwide, and half are projected to be dead by 2050.

About 90 percent of the fish in saltwater aquaria are wild-caught, and significant numbers never survive to even get to the end user. Hawaii has just passed legislation to phase out aquarium fishing because of the adverse effect of removing herbivores from the reef. If your magazine is going to promote aquaria as “entertainment,” please specify that they are for freshwater species that can be aquaculture-raised. Removing reef fish from already endangered habitats should not be for entertainment.


Diane Shepherd, DVM

Maui, Hawaii

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