Is It Legal To Keep Deep Sea Creatures As Pets?

Owning a pet is always a really exciting and fulfilling experience, and there’s truly no better feeling than looking after and caring for an animal.

However, what happens when you want a pet that no one else owns? Is it possible to own pets that nobody else has?

Is It Legal To Keep Deep SeaCreatures As Pets

The world of exotic pets is a somewhat contentious one, some people love to dedicate themselves to looking after exotic pets that you wouldn’t usually be able to find in this part of the world, and part of the excitement is down to the animal’s rarity!

But, what if you want to own an aquatic animal that lives deep in the oceans, is that legal?

The law on owning deep sea creatures as pets is incredibly vague, so if you want to find out more about whether or not it is legal to keep deep sea creatures as pets, then read on, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know!

Is It Legal To Keep Deep Sea Creatures As Pets?

The first challenge of trying to own any unusual animal as a pet is whether or not it is actually legal to own them.

There are strict rules on the type of animals that you are able to own, and this includes fish too, with a number of fish being banned as pets in numerous states.

This is usually done to prevent any invasive species from making it into the wild by accident, and therefore disrupting natural ecosystems.

So, let’s take a look at what fish are banned from being owned:

  • Koi fish and goldfish are banned in the state of Maine
  • Glofish are banned in California
  • Piranhas are illegal in most states
  • Freshwater stingrays are also banned in a number of states

As you can tell, the laws around fish ownership mainly tend to revolve around some of the more common species of fish that people want to own, and there certainly isn’t much mentioned about the ownership of deep sea creatures, so where does that leave you legally?

If you do plan on owning a deep sea creature, and have a specific species in mind, then your best bet is to contact your local fish and wildlife (Also check out Best Wildlife Posters And Prints) management office, who should be able to tell you whether or not the species you plan on keeping as a pet is legal to keep in the state and area that you live in.

However, whether or not your deep sea creature is legal to be kept as a pet isn’t actually your biggest concern when it comes to owning and taking care of one though, which we’ll discuss more below.

Is It Possible To Keep Deep Sea Creatures As Pets?

Is It Legal To Keep Deep Sea Creatures As Pets

Despite the legality of keeping a deep sea creature as a pet, the biggest problem you face is actually whether or not you’d be able to keep your deep sea creature alive.

This isn’t just because they’re particularly hard to look after, or need a lot of care, but because deep sea creatures live in extreme conditions which simply cannot be replicated on the surface.

When the creatures you want to own live at such deep depths, they become accustomed to the immense pressure that is exerted on their bodies.

So when you take these animals out of such depths, they’re often unable to adapt quick enough to survive.

Even some deep sea divers struggle with the return to a lower pressure atmosphere after a certain period of time, so imagine what it’s like for an animal who lives in that pressure constantly!

Aside from the pressure, another issue that would prevent you from owning any deep sea creatures would simply be the amount of light they are exposed to.

The visual sensory system of these animals is extremely sensitive due to living in such dark conditions, so bringing them up to the surface’s light would likely blind them.

There’s also a host of environmental factors that could cause a problem when it comes to keeping deep sea creatures as pets, as the water temperature in most tanks fluctuates too much to be able to provide these creatures with the stable temperatures that they are used to in the sea’s depths.

Finally, the biggest problem with trying to own one of these amazing creatures is that actually acquiring them would cost a huge amount of money, you would need to pay for someone to dive to almost impossible depths in order to find the species you were looking for, and even then, finding these creatures is extremely dark, so it might even take multiple trips.

Then you would have to deal with the logistics of shipping the creature to wherever you live whilst maintaining suitable conditions for them to survive.

The other issue is that you would then have to create an aquarium that was big enough for the creature to live in, with the identical conditions that they would usually live in at the bottom of the sea, which is impossible.

As you can see then, the legality of owning a deep sea creature isn’t the real problem with owning one of these fascinating creatures, so if you were hoping to possibly own one of the amazing creatures of the deep sea, then unfortunately it’s not possible.


So, to summarize, if you want to own a deep sea creature, then it’s going to take a lot of research and consultation with your local fish and wildlife office to ensure that the animal you want to own is legal in your region or state.

On top of that, you then have the issue of acquiring the creature you want and trying to produce an aquarium in your home that is suitable for them to live in, which would mean replicating the conditions they live in permanently, which is impossible!

Dorothy Razo