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Hands Off My Hobby - Hands Off Our Fish!

21st Nov 2019

Did you know that most ornamental fish kept in the UK are classed as 'exotic' or 'wild' pets and as such, the hobby of keeping such fish, enjoyed by thousands throughout the country could be under threat?! Faced with such a horrifying prospect the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) are mobilising enthusiasts and industry alike to promote awareness, lobby politicians and collectively to say "Hands off My Hobby!"

"Animal rights’ groups want to prevent people from keeping ‘exotic’ or ‘wild’ pets and we should be under no illusion that this includes fish. They are campaigning to convince people that keeping these kinds of pets is wrong. And many of their campaigns focus on introducing bans on the importation and sale of wild-caught and exotic species, like ornamental fish.

If these groups succeed with their aims then it would spell the end of the ornamental fish-keeping hobby – and the livelihoods the industry sustains."
(OATA Ltd, 2015)

Get Involved!

OATA are basically organising a multi-pronged strategy and they need you to get involved! There are a number of things you can do to help the OATA in their campaign.

  1. Back the Campaign - Sign the petition! The first thing to do is to show your support by signing the Hands Off My Hobby petition at
  2. Write - We need people to contact those in a position to make a difference and let them know your feelings! In the run up to the general and European elections there's no better time to get your voice heard! OATA have done all the work for you so it really won't take up your time. Visit their support page for draft letters/emails and instructions on how you can contact local MPs and PCCs (prospective parliamentary candidates). It will only take a couple of minutes to email your views and you'll be an important part of safeguarding a hobby, pastime and industry that means so much to thousands all over the country!
  3. Show your responses - spread the word. The campaign needs people to share any responses you receive from politicians etc. This is where we can REALLY leverage the power of social media. Please send your responses to the OATA (and to us too please), so that we can add our support and share, blog and tweet through all our channels. Of course, be sure to share everything through your own personal social media sites also. Working together in this way we can build momentum and tap the potential of Social Media to really make a difference!
  4. Show the love! We need to show our passion for the hobby we love so much. Share your photos and stories with us here at Bradshaws and with OATA of your favourite ornamental fish, and anything else you think best illustrates why you love keeping your fish and how much they mean to you. Also why not get involved with OATAs twitter tag #ShareTheFishLove this valentine's week by tweeting pictures and names of your favourite fish. Alternatively post them here on our Facebook page and we will share and retweet for you. In support of the campaign we will be sure to do all we can to help get the word out there and raise awareness of anything you have to say through Facebook, Twitter and our blog.
  5. Thunderclap Flashmob! OATA are organising a great online Flashmob for Spring 2015 to get the word out and allow us to all show our support at the same time in a coordinated effort. Keep checking the Hands Off Our Hobby website and sign up for updates for more details of the flashmob. Sharing everything across Facebook and Twitter and getting as much publicity as possible this should be a real event! And it should be a major help in spreading the word about this great campaign.
  6. Finally be sure to follow, like and share both Bradshaws and the OATA on Facebook, Twitter and other channels so that we can all work together to say "Hands off My Hobby!"

Thank you for your time and your support.