The Basel Zoo has plans to create a large aquarium on the Heuwaage in Basel.
The costs for implementing the "Ozeanium Basel" will amount to more than 100 million Swiss francs. We are of the opinion that this ecologically and economically wasteful project must be prevented!
The world's oceans face unprecedented threat. Almost a third of the coral reefs have been destroyed, and that figure will increase by 20 percent in 10 to 20 years. Large aquariums promote this destruction because they depend on the import of many species of ocean-dwelling animals, which are not cultivable in artificial habitats.
Extracting animals from their already vulnerable ecosystems weakens them. Various coral fish are locally extinct or threatened with extinction, i.e., the Banggai cardinal fish.
The Ozenaium initiators justify the construction of the Grossaquarium with the argument that they protect rare species and promote education. The reverse is true: the Ozeanium contributes to the destruction of the ecosystems it claims to sensitize it’s audience to.
THE MANIFESTO OF FOUNDATION FRANZ WEBER:
THE PROTECTION OF LIFE IN NATURAL HABITATS
CREATE (VIRTUAL?) ALTERNATIVES
Eight reasons why Basel does not need an Ozeanium
Almost a third of the coral reefs have been destroyed. Ozeanium Basel contributes to the weakening of marine ecosystems by removing coral reef fish from their natural habitat.
Four out of five fish caught in the reef die before they reach an aquarium.
The Ozeanium project is by no means compatible with the Basler goal of a 2000 watt society.
The Ozeanium Basel pursues the principle «less space for more animals» against all current trends in animal husbandry.
Ongoing changes in wild life import regulations could make the project impossible during construction.
The Ozeanium Basel is one of many and shows nothing new.
Because of environmental education: Never before have there been so many large aquariums in the world - at the same time, the seas have never been as threatened as they are today.
The number of visitors to marine parks across Europe is in habitual decline. Is Basel investing in an obsolete model?
Parliamenterian Basel Stadt
«Basel has earned a much more innovative project than just another public aquarium as would be found in many other places.»
Director of Science & Conservation New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences, Camden USA
«The coral fish that are found in sea-water aquariums come almost exclusively from the coral reef. There are almost no controls or protection regulations, and many fish die already when they are captured.»
Dr. Gieri Bolliger
Managing Director Tier im Recht (TIR)
«Serious species conservation starts with the protection of habitats. The offspring of endangered animal species, which cannot be released, serves mainly the self-purpose and has very little to do with genuine species conservation.»
Consultant Biologist & Medical Scientist Emergent Disease Foundation
«Among many harms in the aquarium business is microbial resistance from antibiotic loading to fight stress–related infections in fish; with incalculable costs to animal and human health.»
Executive Director - Whale and Dolphin Conservation WDC
«Since 2012 the import of whales and dolphins is banned and Switzerland is compaigning against overfishing of the seas worldwide. This role model function should not be risked for the sake of an unecological and anachronistic project such as the planned "Ozeanium" in Basel - especially not for the benefit of our inhabitants in the seas and the rest of us.»
Legal research associate, Tier im Recht (TIR)
«Biodiversity in the world's oceans has never been as threatened as it is today. Therefore, it would be wrong to exhibit wild-caught fish. Only a few of the coral fish kept in aquariums can be bred at all.»
President and CEO Fondation Franz Weber
«Basel as a innovative city shouldn't rely on antiquated things.»
Freediver & Shark Ambassador
«Wild caught fish and sharks in Ozeanium are there under the pretext of protecting the seas? Absurd. If the shark dies, the sea dies. We die.»
Marine Biologist, M.Sc., Fondation Franz Weber
«There are almost no controls or protection regulations for the ornamental fish trade.»
Billo Heinzpeter Studer
Co-president association fair-fish
«100 million francs for the Ozeanium – really?! This money should rather be invested in research for preventive measures to protect the ocean. The ocean is the most important habitat on earth to which we landlubbers are directly related to.»
Dr. Jonathan Balcombe
PhD, author of best-selling book: 'What a Fish Knows': jonathan-balcombe.com
«As a biologist and lover of fishes, I am saddened by the destruction and suffering caused by the aquarium industry. The conditions of wild capture, transport, and captive life for the beautiful creatures caught up in this trade result in high death rates. It is like the trade in cut flowers, only with sentient animals.»
Prof. Dr. Markus Wild and his dog Titus
Professor of philosophy at the University of Basel
«The Basel Zoo wanted to give less animals more space. Now, it wants more animals in less space. Apart from that, the fishes have to be caught in the wild and many die during this procedure. The Ozeanium would be a step backwards for Basel! And independently from the animal welfare, visitor numbers in existing public aquariums are diminishing. Therefore, a bad investment.»
Underwater photographer and protector of the ocean
«30% of all coral reefs are in an extremely threatening state and it could exacerbate in the next few years. The capture of these coral fishes destroys the sensitive ecological balance and the illegal use of cyanide causes immense damages. Also, the fact that on average, at least 70% of the animals die during the capture or the transport, is in contradiction to the statement to bring people closer to nature.»
Executive Director, For the Fishes, Committed to protecting coral reef wildlife
«The illegal use of cyanide in fish capture is widespread and implicated in up to 90% of the fish displayed in marine aquaria. Cyanide kills wildlife, destroys habitat and is a crisis for coral reefs.»
Marine Biologist, Best Alternatives Founder and Director, Philippines
«80% of all marine ornamental fishes die before they are even sold, and those that are sold, usually see mortality rates as high as 90 % within the first year of being kept in captivity.»
Founder and president of OceanCare
«The low education value of aquariums does not justify the capture and keeping of wild animals. Non-comsumptive alternatives like documentaries and virtual reality are much more sustainable and wise.»
Managing Director Animal Rights Switzerland
«Marine animals fascinate me. This is why I would never want that these animals are captured, transported under high risk of death and displayed in Basel. Anyway I learn much more about animals through modern media than through old-fashioned fishtanks.»
Dr. Sandra Altherr
Diplom-biologist and co-founder of Pro Wildlife
«In Europe, more and more dolphinariums are closing. But these must not be replaced by large aquariums. Sharks and other marine inhabitants belong to the ocean and not in a fish tank.»
Doctor, author, peace and environmental activist
«Public aquariums like the planned Ozeanium in Basel are absolete. For ecological and animal welfare reasons they are totally unacceptable. The project "Vision Nemo" could introduce new ways of adventure, knowledge transfer and marine protection.»
President and Founder of OceanSwimmer
«Basel is NOT by the sea. And even if this was the case, there wouldn't be any justification for removing wildlife from an already widely depleated sea. Unfortunately, the public is not aware of the devastating aftermath of the aquaristic industry yet, and this is exactly where Basel could act as a pioneer: instead of wasting money on an antiquated and overpriced large aquarium, investing in an environmental friendly, visionary education and awareness-raising system such as Vision Nemo!»
Robert Marc Lehmann
Marine biologist, scientific diver and photographer
«I used to catch a lot of marine animals for zoos and aquariums in Europe. Therefore, I know what is going on behind the scenes. If the visitors knew as well, nobody would go to any aquarium or zoo.»
«Basel is located by the sea.
Zurich has a rainforest.
Snow falls in Dubai.
Iceberg in the desert.
Globalization drives the world crazy.»
Dr. Brigitta Gerber
Former grand councilor and president of the canton Basel-Stadt
«Vision Nemo is a wonderful, contemporary project that enables our children to get to know and experience the marine world. At the same time, it saves and protects marine resources responsibly. In New York, the National Geographic shows with Encounter Ocean Odyssey (https://natgeoencounter.com) at the Times Square what would be possible. Really great - that's what I wish for Basel!»
Photographer, Filmmaker and Marine Biologist
«Public aquariums stimulate the exploitation of coral reefs and set a bad example: by catching reef fishes, additional pressure is exerted on the coral reef ecosystem, which already suffers from overfishing, pollution and the consequences of climate change. We do not need another aquarium, but more individuals who are committed to preserving the oceans.»
Virtual Reality - For the animals and their habitat
The ocean is not a disposable resource. It stands for endless expanses. For our blue planet. For life. How, then, can the beauty of the ocean by experienced, if one can not travel to or traverse it? Enter Vision NEMO.
In a few years, Hollywood will produce virtual films, in which the viewer becomes part of the action.
Vision NEMO is based on this virtual reality technology.
Through virtuoso camera work from different regions, zones and sea depths, the spectator delves into a unique 360 degree experience of marine creatures in their natural habitat. This is «edutainment» in its purest form. Learn more about our project Vision NEMO
The ban on the import of dolphins into Switzerland reveals an understanding of the plight of large marine animals detained in small tanks or aquariums. Vision NEMO presents a contemporary, forward-looking alternative.
Engagement by Fondation Franz Weber
The Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) has been committed to the conservation and careful development of our habitat for more than 40 years.
This also includes the fight for the protection of nature and animals as well as the preservation of cultural achievements. The FFW is acknowledged and committed worldwide as a partner organization of UNESCO.