Bristol Aquarium is playing host to Buster a life-sized catfish as part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the problem of rehoming ‘tankbusting’ fish.

Buster is a life sized red-tailed catfish who is visiting zoos and aquariums across the UK to promote the Big Fish Campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to lessen the number of large tropical and marine fish species which have to be rehomed every year by public aquariums and zoos after being sold as pets.

Formed by the public aquariums themselves, and supported by many industry experts and hobbyists, the Big Fish Campaign was forged through concern over the high number of large fish species which are sold and then later have to be rehomed when they have outgrown their owners’ tanks.

The idea for the campaign came about after research revealed that over a period of just four months, 11 UK aquaria were asked to house 144 fish that had outgrown their owners’ tanks.

“Every week we receive phone calls and requests from the public to re-home fish and other exotic pets which have outgrown their tanks,” said Bristol Aquarium curator Dan de Castro.

“We help where we can but we have limited resources and if the individual creatures cannot find a suitable new home then their options are very limited – there are many examples of large catfish and other species being released into the wild,” he added.

The aquarium’s 60,0000-litre Amazon display is home to a variety of pacus, catfish, oscars, plecs, turtles, terrapins and freshwater rays all of which have been donated to the aquarium after becoming homeless or outgrowing their original tanks.

Issued by Bristol Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews and picture opportunities please contact Tina Patel on 0117 934 0944 or Dan de Castro on 0117 934 0943.