Riding marine animals: a new dangerous trend on social media

Fish treated as if they were vehicles, ridden for views and likes. It is the absurd behaviors that appear online that, together with experiences offered by tour operators, expose marine creatures to serious dangers

A new trend is making waves across the ocean: riding marine animals as if they were motorcycles, immobilizing them and using their fins as handles. Among the species featured in these viral videos is the Napoleon fish, known scientifically as Cheilinus undulatus.

This large species lives near coral reefs and is globally threatened with extinction. Its population has drastically declined due to human activities, primarily the loss of its vulnerable habitat and overfishing.

The situation is made even worse by the reckless behavior of tourists and locals. The videos circulating online are proof of this. What is shown cannot be considered anything but a form of mistreatment.

However, Napoleon fish are not the only ones sought after for creating impactful content. Even harmless whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, are exploited for this purpose.

Whale sharks: a major tourist attraction

In some locations, swimming with whale sharks is a highly promoted attraction. This happens, for example, in the province of Bohol, Philippines, where visitors can swim alongside these ocean giants. Regulations stipulate that they should not be touched or ridden, but this happens more often than it should.

To provide these memorable experiences, whale sharks are fed by operators. This practice endangers the survival and conservation of this majestic species, making them dependent on humans.

This behavior reflects a broader issue with how we treat most creatures in the animal kingdom. We exploit them for our interests, imprison them, domesticate them, forgetting that they are not puppets, clowns, vehicles, or objects. They are animals and this is certainly not the way they should be treated.

Condividi su Whatsapp Condividi su Linkedin