Thursday, February 17, 2011

China's synchronised goldfish anger activists

Chinese animal rights groups are urging TV stations not to show a magic trick of goldfish swimming in formation. They believe the performance could involve the use of magnets and therefore harm the fish. Campaigners want the act dropped from variety shows to be broadcast on Thursday to mark the end of the Chinese New Year holiday.

The magician at the centre of the controversy, Fu Yandong, denies he harms the fish. The trick has amazed audiences across China, appearing on one of the biggest shows of the year, China Central Television's New Year's Eve special. Mr Fu takes six goldfish and releases them into a shallow tank. He somehow gets them to swim together. But instead of being praised, he has been criticised by more than 50 animal rights groups.

YouTube link.

Liu Huili, of Da'erwen campaign group, said: "Goldfish are small creatures that anyone can easily buy and abuse, or even kill." She wants TV stations to drop the act from variety shows planned to mark the end of the Lunar New Year. Some stations, including the state broadcaster CCTV, are reported to have agreed to ditch the controversial segment. Others plan to show it regardless.

Meanwhile, Mr Fu has hit back at the criticism. "If I used magnets, the fish would stick together," he said. "Some people say I use electricity or high technology. They can say what they want, but the fish are safe," he added. The magician has declined to say exactly how the trick is performed.

There's a longer video here.


Brixter said...

How could he train dim witted goldfishes? Sounds fishy to me.

arbroath said...


Ratz said...

Fish are fairly easy to train. It's just a shame he's using the weird mutant ones that have bulging eyes and two tails. The poor things are so un-hydrodynamic they don't last half as long as a normal fish.

cath said...

Goldfish or koi that live in ponds and are used to being fed by humans will follow anyone who walks along the edge of their pond, and they'll follow your hand if you wave it around over them. I'm not surprised if they're trainable.

L said...

Maybe they're trained. Maybe it's magnets. Who knows? But this is China, so I wouldn't rule out some sort of deception and/or animal cruelty.

Flo said...

We saw that clip here and thought they didn't look like real fish??