On 20th September 2022, animal rights activists staged a protest outside Seattle’s City Hall, US, against Seattle Aquarium’s plans to open a new shark tank exhibit. The 325,000-gallon tank of the new Ocean Pavilion between Pike Place Market and Piers 59 and 60 will be paid by the taxpayer as part of the council’s loan to help the aquarium open the pavilion in 2024, but the protesters want the Council to take back the loan and spend it on housing — as the $20 million comes from the Real Estate Excise Tax.

The protest took the form of two activists dressed as sharks inside a structure simulating a tiny aquarium tank. Activists of the Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) and the Humane Voters of Washington participated in the protest. 

Alyne Fortgang, a founding member of Humane Voters of Washington, said, “Whether it’s animals in cages at the Woodland Park Zoo or marine animals held captive at the Seattle Aquarium, people’s attitudes towards imprisoning wild animals are changing, and we need our leaders to change with us.”  Hannah Thompson-Garner, director of advocacy and mission advancement for Northwest Animal Rights Network, said “Real conservation does not involve profiting from the incarceration of animals under the guise of spreading awareness…The aquarium’s plan is simply a tourist money grab that doesn’t benefit locals. We want to see the houseless crisis solved. We want to see plants planted in South Seattle for green spaces, and we want what everybody else wants for a nice city. A shark tank is not a part of that.”  Since the bill for the loan has already passed, the only way to stop the plans is for the mayor to veto the bill and send it back for an amendment.

👉 Sign the pledge to Not Visit Zoos & Aquariums: drove.com/.2yE8 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.