"Most wild-caught marine fish do not survive long in captivity, particularly in average home aquariums, which keeps the demand for new 'replacement' aquarium animals high, meaning more damage to wildlife populations," Telecky said. "It's a revolving door of cruelty and destruction."
"For every fish sold, 6 others died from reef to retail," Umberger said. She also estimates that tens of millions of fish die each year in the global aquarium industry.
One of the most surprising things about the industry, Umberger said, is how few people know about what's going on, and that 98 percent of tropical fish in aquariums are caught from the wild. "What we've learned is that people just don't know that these animals are captured to begin with," Umberger said.