Dyed Corals

This has to rate at the very top of all the unethical practices found in fish keeping. There simply is no excuse for anyone involved in this practice right from the people doing the dyeing down to the end purchaser. To put it simply Corals and Anemones are being dyed with lurid pinks, blues, and red dye in an effort to boost sales.

Sun Coral

Corals rely on symbiotic Algae, which lives in their tissue for their food. The relationship between the two is, - the coral gets fed from the Algae's photosynthesis which produces starches and sugars and the Algae gets protection. Neither can live without the other. When the creature is dyed the light, which is essential for photosynthesis, is blocked out by the dye, which in turn means that both Algae and therefore Coral will starve slowly. And that is done knowingly to try to boost sales. These beautiful and delicate creatures are being killed to improve sales. Any retailer who deals in Corals and Anemones needs to have a high level of knowledge to care for his stock whilst it is in his care. Because of this it is almost impossible for any retailer to sell these things unwittingly. Experienced hobbyist will know what to look for and to avoid them, simply because once they have been dyed they are almost certainly doomed and therefore a complete waste of money to buy. The people most likely to buy them are unwitting novices which means the dealers who sell them are deliberately taking advantage of novice fish keeper this in itself is an awful practice and is inexcusable.

What can we do?
Learn to tell the difference between what is real and what is artificially dyed. It isn't always all that easy if in doubt check. And never buy one of creatures if it has been dyed, it will soon die and you will have wasted your money.
If you find a shop which has these on sale don't buy anything at all from that shop and tell the store manager why you will not be spending your money there, doing so will leave them in no doubt. If sales are hit they will stop selling them it is as simple as that. Even if you don't keep marines you can help by doing the same.
Finally if you know others who keep fish make sure they know the full story because awareness is the key to beating this problem.

If we don't act to deal with these things ourselves, others will act in our place and we will face more and more restrictions in the hobby.

Other Ethical Fishkeeping Information