Pandemic Drives 50% Surge in Pet Fish Ownership

It’s been widely reported that COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have promoted new growth in the fishkeeping market. That’s as families and individuals sought to embrace new hobbies and interests as holidays and other activities were cancelled.

However, only now are more accurate numbers available. Incredibly, the pandemic has reportedly driven around a 50% increase in pet fish ownership in the UK over the past two years.

New figures show that ownership of both indoor aquariums and outdoor ponds has surged massively during this period. Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association pet population data reveals that there are now 8 million indoor tanks in the UK. That’s in addition to a further 6.5 million households with outdoor ponds.

The UK is now home to a reported 8 million home aquariums

By comparison, the 2021 version of the survey, which takes into account numbers from 2020, listed just 5 million fish tanks and 4 million garden ponds. This growth, of course, is excellent news for the UK aquarium market.

However, there are concerns surrounding pet relinquishment as life returns to normality, according to the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association. OATA has pointed out that Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association data also shows pet relinquishment is rising in 2022.

At the same time, it’s not an issue that appears to affect fishkeepers in the same way as the owners of other pets like cats and dogs. In fact, OATA says that this illustrates the need to ensure that a wide variety of pet species is available for people to enjoy, including fish.

The organization believes that the key is for people to pick the right pet for their lifestyles. With that, they’re able to care for them properly. And while dogs, cats, and small animals like guinea pigs and rabbits undoubtedly make great pets, they’re not always the ideal choice for everyone.

Fish, meanwhile, might make better pets for those with busy lifestyles, according to OATA. That’s doubly true when any necessary professional aquarium maintenance provisions are put in place, too.

About the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association is the leading trade body for the UK pet food industry, where its members account for over 90% of the market.

PFMA is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry. Founded in 1970, the association has served the nation’s pets for over 50 years. PFMA members represent both pet food manufacturers and suppliers, while the organization itself aims to be the credible voice of a responsible pet food industry.

About the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association

The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association was set up in 1991 and, since then, has represented the entire aquarium and fishkeeping industry, from importers and manufacturers to wholesalers and retailers. It aims to enhance the reputation of and promote confidence in the industry while simultaneously setting high standards across the board.

OATA also serves to promote the benefits that pet fish can bring to society while encouraging responsible ownership and enjoyment among those of us who keep and care for them.