Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder has asked for live seahorses to be removed from its display at Dublin Airport following complaints that some of the fish had died.
According to a report from the Dublin People, Dublin Airport Authority confirmed that a mechanical failure on a seahorse aquarium at an Estee Lauder shop in the airport caused a number of seahorses to die due to "suffocation".
Estee Lauder told the Dublin People that it obtained the seahorses from Seahorse Ireland, who produce the fish for the public aquarium and retail trade in captivity to reduce fishing pressures on wild stock. It says that it will no longer have the fish on display.
The death of the seahorses saw Dublin-based animal rights group Alliance For Animal Rights (AFAR) hold a protest outside the aquarium last week. The group says that seahorses are rare, protected species and should not have been used in the display. AFAR plans to put pressure on Seahorse Ireland to stop them supplying seahorses.
Seahorse Ireland says that it backed by the marine conservation groups Project Seahorse and the Seahorse Trust and its mission is to curb global demand for wild seahorses in all markets by producing them in captivity.
Kealan Doyle of Seahorse Ireland was reported as saying: "It was an unfortunate mechanical failure which led to the seahorses dying in the tank on this particular occasion. This is the first incident of any of the seahorses we supply actually dying like this.
"We are a reputable company and are recognised by the International Seahorse Trust. However, given this unfortunate incident, Estee Lauder took the decision that it would be best if all seahorses were removed from the tank."
Seahorse Ireland declined to comment.