Brno zoo plastic pollution, Source: Brno City

Brno zoo opens an aquarium full of plastic to show how polluted oceans are

Brno zoo opens an aquarium full of plastic to show how polluted oceans are

Fish in the Czech zoo coexist with PET bottles, cups and nylon

Zoos are not just meant to be places for entertainment, but also sites where we can learn first-hand about the animal world. As of the end of June, there is one main thing that we can learn from a visit to the zoo of Brno and that is how oceans, as natural habitats, are changing. Unfortunately, not in a good way.

The ways in which human action and in particular the overproduction and improper disposal of plastic pollutes the oceans is the topic of a new installation at Brno zoo. A new aquarium where fish coexists with numerous plastic items is on display, showing the hideous reality of the underwater life that we tend to ignore.

Raising awareness of ocean pollution

This non-traditional aquarium full of cups, PET bottles, plastic packaging is also home to fish, specifically Scatophagus argus or the spotted scat and Monodactylus argenteus known as silver moonfish. Both species live in Southeast Asia, a place that is severely affected by pollution.

It is a permanent exhibition, part of the pavilion called Exoratium, so every visitor to the zoo can see it.

"People often talk about water and ocean pollution, but they can't really imagine it. It is much more illustrative when they can see it directly and in detail. We show what it looks like for animals when garbage floats around them. And, of course, we hope that this will then raise questions and that visitors will start thinking about it - whether the fish will get involved, eat it, what it means for it, how far the plastic can get into water" explains curator of fish, reptiles and invertebrates breeding Petr Šrámek, quoted on the municipal website.

Brno zoo plastic pollution aquariumThe exhibition at the zoo of Brno does not represent a danger to fish, but serves to illustrate how plastic pollution affects underwater life. Photo by Brno Zoo

In Brno’s zoo, the curators were careful not to create conditions that put the lives of fish in danger, so there are no narrow fishing nets, hooks or nylon fishing lines. The plastic items, too, are too big to be eaten.

This, unfortunately, is not the case in oceans, where plastic pollution represents a great threat for underwater species and in extension – for humans.



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