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Won’t somebody think of the fish?

Mar 16, 2012, 5:39 PM EDT

Fish tanks

Two years ago, when we first learned that the Marlins were installing fish tanks in the new ballpark, PETA got mad.  It’s gotten to the point, however, that people tend to tune out PETA when they get mad. Oh well.

But that doesn’t mean animal activists aren’t still concerned about the state of the fish in those tanks in that ballpark. Because they are:

“I can tell you even if the glass doesn’t shatter, [stadium noise is] going to cause a tremendous vibration and disturb and upset the fish,” Animal Rights Foundation of Florida spokesman Don Anthony told the local press.

To minimize vibrations from a stadium full of rowdy fans, the temperature-controlled aquariums are suspended on a flexible material called neoprene, but activists think that isn’t sufficient. “No matter how many shock absorbers they build into the system, if there are thousands of fans screaming and jumping during a sporting event it’s going to affect the fish in there,” Anthony said.

Not that anyone seems all that interested in heeding the warnings.  But I suppose if a bunch of fish go belly-up from shock, those fish tanks are going to turn into planters pretty darn quick.

  1. theeCodyTaylor - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I’m waiting for the ‘there won’t be enough people there to cause Excessive vibrations’ comment.

    • stex52 - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      That was my thought. How much noise you gonna get in that stadium?

    • joeflaccosunibrow - Mar 21, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      I’m waiting for there to be a discount of Fish Sticks at the ball park.

  2. seeyouinhelljohnny - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Fish = Bugs with gills

    • poprox13 - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      But tastier………

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:13 AM

        That depends. You’ve obviously got no experience with bush tucker. Witchetty grubs, anyone?

        (Obviously, if this were northern Australia, there’d be another ingredient in this menu.)

        How about some chocolate covered fried grasshoppers? And hey, what’s that at the bottom of the bottle….?

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:22 AM

        Ah, you’ve no experience with bush tucker?

    • JBerardi - Mar 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      Easy now. You’re typing that comment up with highly evolved fins.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        Speaking of which, I bet you the coelocanth doesn’t make it through April.

  3. frankenderek - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Humans = Apes that torture other animals not out of survival but pure enjoyment. I will be protesting here in Miami.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      frankenderek – Internet commenter who is entitled to their opinion but ruins any positive impact they might make by using tortured hyperbole rather than reason. You will be more interested in the Marlins this year than most Florida residents, so I’ll give you that.

    • Old Gator - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      Much of the torture we talking hairless apes inflect is a product of indifference, not pleasure seeking. I’m not sure if one is worse than the other in the final analysis, but at least indifference does sound less hyperbolic than sadism.

      • miamipete - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:34 PM

        Wow. You are like, so deep, dude.

      • hittfamily - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

        Well said Gator. I eat meat, but have no desire to go hunting. It is a visceral thing. I like my leather couch, but in no way do I want to volunteer, let alone high five my buddies, about ending that animals life.

      • seeyouinhelljohnny - Mar 16, 2012 at 8:25 PM

        Good thing you have people like me to do your dirty work hittfamily. :)

      • hittfamily - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:27 PM

        I would not be afraid to purchase a home where a murder occurred. However, if I walked in and discovered It had brain on the wall, blood on the floor, and a decomposing body on the couch, and I would be required to clean it all up, that would be a deal breaker for me. For some, it wouldn’t be. I understand things in life have to be done, however, I do not want to do them. And if I had to do these things, I wouldn’t call it a sport, and brag to my buddies about what a magnifiscent animal I killed.

        It is all visceral. I know what happened to the previous occupant. I know what happened to the animal. I can remove myself from it. I don’t have any desire to be an active participant in it.

      • hittfamily - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        I’ve tried to respond twice and my post disappears. Watch this one go through.

        My response was really good. :)

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:17 AM

        Indeed. I appreciate you and your dirty work too – and not just for putting that Cornish hen stuffed with brown and wild rice on my table. I appreciate you with a profound respect for history, too. You are the end product of a process of social specialization that began somewhere in south central Asia sometime during the basal neolithic.

        No go clean my bathroom, will you? I’ll take care of the brandy snifter myself tonight. And don’t forget to wash your hands before you take the cattlegun down to the barn tomorrow morning.

      • hittfamily - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:00 AM

        I also understand murders occur.

        I would not be afraid to buy a home if I found out someone was murdered in it.

        However, If I found out when I walked in, found brain matter on the wall, blood on the floor, and a rotting man’s carcass laying on the couch, and I was informed I would have to clean up the scene, that would be a deal killer for me.

        I am aware someone will have to clean up that scene. If it was clean, I probably would have bought it. I can put the horrible pain, and suffering out of my mind, as long as it is clean and vacuumed when I buy it.

        I am also aware my lamb chops come from lambs. My porch chops come from pork. My all beef burgers come from beef. If I had to turn a cow into beef, I’d probably eat a lot less beef!!!

        It’s the visceral thing.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:48 AM

        We aren’t “lucky” to have you, seeyouinhelljohnny, but I definitely do appreciate your being there. You are the end product of a process of social specialization that began somewhere in central southern Asia or perhaps Anatolia during the basal neolithic. Now, after provisioning my table, don’t forget to place all the styrofoam shipping containers in the recycling bin, and then go clean the kitchen while we see to the brandy snifters.

        Only the ass is immortal, Johnny. And yours…belongs…to me.

    • miamipete - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      That basically puts you in the animal rights camp.

      • hittfamily - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:35 PM

        As opposed to???

    • miamipete - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      You can be an ape if you like, but I’m human. The fish are not being tortured, they are being enjoyed. I hope you get pepper sprayed in the eye.

      • ptfu - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        “The fish are not being tortured…”

        You don’t know that. You can’t just declare it and make it so. Unless you’re an expert on vibrational effects on fish, as well as an expert in the expected vibrations of a full house (unlikely as it may be) in Miami’s new stadium, plus the thwack of an occasional fastball fouled off the tanks. If you are somehow an expert on all that, stop wasting your time here and go talk to the Marlins.

        The whole point of the article is, it’s a huge gray area with people on both sides. Might be bad for the fish. Might not be. Maybe they’ll adapt somehow. Nobody has a grip on all the pieces put together.

        “The fish are not being tortured, they are being enjoyed.”

        What a terrifying comment. You are implying that people enjoying the fish means that the fish can’t be being tortured. Maybe the torture is through indifference (see Gator’s comment) but it does not mean the fish aren’t suffering–regardless of human enjoyment.

        Fish tanks are a cool idea. But it has to end if it messes up the fish.

      • hittfamily - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:59 PM

        thumbs way up ptfu

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        “You can be an ape if you like, but I’m human.”

        You’ve demonstrated paltry evidence of that here.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:24 AM

        “You can be an ape if you like, but I’m human.”

        Scant evidence of that so far. At least, not here.

  4. ll8078 - Mar 16, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Thank god we don’t have to look at all of those empty orange seats anymore. Blue is a lot easier on the eyes.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      I have an odd feeling that Peyton Manning came to the same conclusion.

  5. Ben - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    I’m not an animal rights type, but I pretty much agree with them on this. It’s cruel.

  6. phukyouk - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM


  7. miamipete - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    There’s no pleasing these mindless hypocrites. They complain about things like this, but 10 to 1 they have no problem with the genocide of children by abortion of any form.

    • nekotman - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      I agree Pete. If people spent as much time and money on starving, sick, orphaned and abused children then the US would be better. How can they turn
      away from a kid and devote so much money and time on animals? I agree animals need protecting but don’t become so blind to the real needs of this country. One child is worth more than all the fish in the US.

      • hittfamily - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:38 PM

        They aren’t mutually exclusive. It is possible to have empathy for both. Perhaps the Miami taxpayers should have left the fish in the ocean, and used the money spent on an aquarium on a Joe Maddon Thanksmas.

      • miamipete - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:35 AM

        Nice to meat someone sane. Thank you.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:54 AM

        The Miami taxpayers weren’t given that option. Do a little reading up on how this stadium got built in the first place – it was, in effect, a political end run around the taxpayers, who overwhelmingly didn’t want public money used for it, with no little backroom sleight-of-hand involved.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      I’m not sure you know what “genocide” is. I’m assuming you’re trying to equate abortion with full-scale mass murder, but mass-murder =/= genocide.

      Having said that, there are plenty of other outlets where you can complain about abortion. This is a baseball blog that made a post about some fish inside a glass tank and how some people think that’s bad for the fish. Save the abortion talk for a news blog or something.

      • cur68 - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:58 PM


      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

        Well, you knew from Miamipete’s first post that he was a moron. No point in being surprised that he thinks – if you can call it that – crassly and indiscriminately in ideologically constipated, artificially partitioned, hopelessly chlichéd and generally irrelevant sound bites.

      • miamipete - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:37 AM

        It was a comparison. You’re not the thought police. You get to say your peace, I’ll say mine, thank you.

      • miamipete - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:40 AM

        It’s always interesting to me that you can’t just disagree with someone, you have to call them a moron.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:44 AM

        I don’t have to. I just do it when they present substantial evidence of actually being morons.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:34 AM

        I didn’t have to call you a moron. I did it voluntarily. You come on here insulting folks who don’t agree with your jaundiced view of things from the git-go. You superimpose a bunch of corny Beck/Rush stereotypes – in this case, folks who object to gratuitous abuse of animals are, ipso facto “whiners” and “hypocrites” who think abortions are just swell and are fine with their fellowmen going starving or homeless (though this last one was a paste-on by your jockstrap carrier above, Buddha knoweth the logic behind that one) – and then, like most bullies, when you encounter the resistance or derision you brought upon yourself, you pose as reasonable, hurt and offended, and those who see through your canned rhetoric are “thought police” seeking to deny you the freedom to be a putz.

        Pretty transparent. Pretty simplistic. Pretty predictable. Boring.

    • cltjump - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Why in the hell does this comment have 43 thumbs down?

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        Because it’s extremely stupid, presumptuous, hackneyed, gratuitous and, underneath its pretensions to social consciousness, it’s based on a flawed syllogism that’s actually mean spirited and sententious?

      • motherscratcher23 - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        Because it was a stupid comment

      • cltjump - Mar 19, 2012 at 8:57 AM

        If you’re a stupid person, perhaps.

    • yahmule - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      You wackjobs couldn’t care less about those “children” once they’re born.

  8. rooney24 - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I would be more concerned about them overheating outside in Florida. I would worry less about vibrations. I would have to think there are aquariums (ex. Sea World) that either have a lot of people and/or are in areas with a lot of vibrations, and I haven’t heard anything about those.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Then you haven’t listened hard enough or in the right places. Commercial aquariums have come in for all sorts of criticism on a regular basis. The sexier problems, like the mis- or improper treatment of marine mammals, gets most of the airplay, but the routine maintenance, feeding, water chemistry, improper illumination and other forms of unnecessary stress in other enclosures, attracts lots of attention at the level of dialogue with more knowledgeable people than the general public. Sea World in particular has been criticized for all of this stuff, though smaller private attractions seem to be consistently the worst offenders.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      You haven’t been listening in the right places. Commercial aquariums keep coming in for pretty sharp criticism – though, of course, the mis- or inadequate treatment of marine mammals usually catches the lionfish’s share of the noise. Sea World has taken a pounding on this score several times. However, the smaller marine attractions come in for plenty of blame too among the environmental and animal rights communities, for things as various and unfortunately commonplace as overcrowding, mismatching of species in the same aquaria, overbright illumination, uninformed feeding procedures and schedules, poor maintenance of water chemistry or filtration, you name it.

  9. Glenn - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    How about protesting that it is tacky and not aesthetically pleasing? And maybe the vibrations will take down the ugly home run tower in center field.

  10. jonnybaseball - Mar 16, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    It’s okay to eat fish, cause they don’t have any feelings.

    • Lukehart80 - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      The animals I’ve trapped have all become my pets.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:09 AM

        I haven’t trapped many. But I do have a pet pygmy rattlesnake – a “buzzworm,” as we used to call them when I was a kid – named Friendo that a buddy of mine found as a near-newborn under an old tire in his yard. They used to be very common on the southwest side of Macondo but development has wiped out most of their habitat and I was surprised that he turned up where he did, in the middle of a suburban area. He’s about two years old now, and even though this is a small species with short fangs and only mildly to moderately virulent venom, he’s getting big enough to start taking the bad news encoded in his information tubes a little more seriously. We’ll probably take him out to the national park this fall and release him but having him as a terrarium specimen these last few years has been a fascinating experience.

  11. birdsnblues - Mar 16, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Do fish get thirsty? Are they gonna be Marlins Fans? Can they hear? Do they know who PETA is?…that is all

  12. micker716 - Mar 16, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I have no sympathy for the fish. That whole breathing underwater thing is just plain creepy.

    • hittfamily - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:34 PM

      We shouldn’t worry about CO2 levels. Just ask the plants.

    • addictedzone - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      You hated Daryl Hannah in Splash?

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:50 AM

        Well, I never really understood the attraction to mermaids myself. Unless you can figure out how a mermaid…um, I mean how to…uh…I mean, you know…where the…okay, I better quit while I’m still incoherent.

      • addictedzone - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Old Gator, I thought there was empirical data in the movie solving that dilemma through use of the hairdryer method.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        That wouldn’t be good enough even at my age.

        And then all those jokes about the smell of sardines….

  13. randygnyc - Mar 16, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    They should stock the tank with fresh fish to be served at a nearby sushi stand. Ticket holders in that area of the stadium can go to the tanks in between innings and pick out the fish they want. At least that would solve the problem of the fish being exposed to long term vibration stress.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:00 AM

      Why stop there? It’s still stone crab season.

  14. lostsok - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I was going to comment, then realized I don’t care…

  15. bigyankeemike - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    If the fish can see that ugly thing behind the outfield fence, I’d say that’s torture enough. Otherwise, let them drown.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      I agree. If I were one of them, I’d almost rather see Mr. Creosote taking a seat out there.

  16. rcali - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Fish? We don’t need no stinkn’ fish!

  17. addictedzone - Mar 16, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Those fish won’t suffer nearly as much as Mets fans this season.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM

      Steenkin’ feesh, you mean.

  18. aceshigh11 - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    I’m so tired of all the PETA demonization. No, I’m not a member, and yes, their rhetoric is WAY too shrill and over-the-top sometimes, but their hearts are in the right place.

    I’m sure tons of studies have been done to ensure that these tanks can survive a significant line-drive impact.

    It’s still a pretty strange spectacle. Cool, but strange. I wonder if it will last.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:59 AM

      Aces: I agree with you in principle but, unfortunately, at the level of the popular media PETA grabs all the headlines. Fortunately, there are more serious and level-headed folks at organizations like the Humane Societies (despite all of their administrative issues) and ASPCA working on animal rights issues through legal and political channels with professional lobbyists, writers and fundraisers who know how to make the same point without sounding like hysterics. When PETA partisans indulge in dangerous and violent activities like pepper-spraying carriage grooms in Central Park or committing arson against butcher shops, and then the organization issues press releases congratulating such common thugs, they sabotage the work of more responsible animal rights activists in the process.

      • miamipete - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:46 AM

        I love animals, but some of these groups are way over the top. They often take away from real cases of animal abuse by being ridiculous. When I hear the name PETA, I generally figure it’s just extremists whining. Just my opinion, but then again, I’m a moran. Aye, old Gator?

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:59 AM

        Aye. Statistically, it’s entirely plausible for a moron to arrive at a reasonable and compassionate perspective. It’s known as the monkeys-and-typewriters principle.

      • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM

        Aye. It’s statistically plausible that a moron can arrive at the same reasoned, compassionate viewpoint that I did via the “monkeys and typewriters” principle.

        Then again, there’s nothing about your initial comments here to suggest that you actually “love animals” and can distinguish between extremists and people who also “love animals” in a reasonable way, but rather that you’ve merely staked out this new turf to regain rhetorical advantage through the technique of ironic reversal. My crafty old Jesuit forensic society monitor would have snorted and laughed at such an obvious ploy, so pardon me if I do the same.

  19. damnyankee13 - Mar 17, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    Personally I think tyhe idea to install that fiosh tanj[ and the fish] was dumb. Its just a gimmick. But also, I dont believe the fish will be harmed provided the sides dont break, Hey Peta, the fish have a better place to swim/live now then the did before I bet. Provided they werent just put there from the wild Maybe 3 hours a day , and not every day, there are crowds. How often donthe fish, in the wild, have to live in fear of their preditors?

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      There’s not much of a difference in terms of stress between being chased by a predator against which you have an inherited set of responses, or the sudden and inexplicable shock of a foul ball banging off the glass and reverberating through the water, for which you don’t. Diving into an anemone won’t much help you defend against such repeated shocks. As someone who used to keep saltwater aquariums, I can assure you that a fish doesn’t need a lot of excuses to go cloaca-up from stresses against which it is unprotected by its particular evolution.

  20. hushbrother - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Why have fish displayed anywhere? They’re likely to be disturbed in any environment that isn’t their natural habitat. have a tank in my house, and I like to play music and movies loud. Guess I should toss my fish back in the lake because it must upset them.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      You’re comparing a whisper to a sonic boom. It won’t fly. Er, swim.

  21. falstaffsmind - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    This reminds me of one of the girls at our office that decided to ‘save’ a bug that was inside her office. She carefully scooped it onto a sheet of paper, and gently carried out back to the grass and set it free. It took two steps, and a lizard zipped out and ate it. My point is we tend to overrate just how great it is for a creature to live in it’s natural environment.

    • motherscratcher23 - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      FTR I don’t believe this story actually happened.

    • yahmule - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      Or, more likely, it reminded you of that bunny in the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” episode you saw a few months ago. Really insightful comment, though.

  22. crnvic847 - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I don’t think 100 “rowdy” fans jumping up and down will have any effect on the fish tank.

    • Old Gator - Mar 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      In that case, I suspect that your experience of fish has been mostly culinary.

    • addictedzone - Mar 17, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      Today’s mindless wager… What team draws more fans at home this season, the Mets, Braves, Reds, or Marlins.

      I’d place a small wager on the Marlins.

      • micker716 - Mar 17, 2012 at 9:34 PM

        First season with a new state-of-the-art stadium (complete with fish tanks!) and a substantial payroll investment? I like your odds. Years 2, 3, etc., not so much.

  23. premiumpit - Mar 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    F#%k Peta…

  24. brewdogg - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    This thread was a very entertaining read, I must say.

    As to the actual issue….. how to the vibrations caused by screaming fans compare to those put out by a ship horn or the propellors of a speed boat? Is the occasional line drive off the glass any worse for the fish that the eruption of underwater volcanoes? As far as I am concerned, as long as this is just conjecture, we should leave it alone. If fish do start dying at a higher rate than expected, then something may need to be done, but until then, let’s just let the fish enjoy the game.

    On a side note…..How about replacing the seats in dead center with a giant tank full of Marlins? maybe it will inspire some other fun little things….. Dolphins that jump after touchdowns? Maybe Jaguars that….never mind.

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