Chinese TV stations are being urged by animal rights groups not to show a magic trick of a goldfish swimming in formation.
Although the group does not know how the amazing magic trick works they believe the performance could involve the use of magnets and therefore harm the fish.
Campaigners are putting pressure on to get the act, which was supposed to be broadcast in variety shows on Thursday to mark the end of the Chinese New Year holiday, dropped.
Fu Yandong, the magician and creator of the trick, denies the trick causes any harm to the fish.
Appearing on one of China’s biggest shows, China Central Television’s New Year’s Eve special, the trick has amazed audiences across the world.
The trick involves Mr Fu taking six goldfish and then releases them into a shallow tank and somehow gets them to swim together.
Although an amazing trick, instead of being praised, the magician has been criticised by more than 50 animal rights groups.
Liu Huili, of Da’erwen campaign group, said: “Goldfish are small creatures that anyone can easily buy and abuse, or even kill.”
Liu 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 told a CCTV news programme.
“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.