As we highlighted in the first top ten list, there is going to be a lot of going on in the aquarium industry in 2015. In my opinion, one of the more important things on that list are the things happening with fish collection and captive breeding.
The collection of less and less types of fish and coral from the ocean is a major change. I think back even 15 years ago and 90% of décor for a saltwater aquarium was large skeletal coral harvested from the ocean, bleached and shipped halfway across the globe. That entire practice is largely extinct now.
The collectors of fish are also increasingly heavily scrutinized and regulated, as they should be. Most collectors have a conscience and want to see the progress in the industry as much as we do. They are starting to collect fish that are known to do poorly in aquaria less and less. As I’ve written about in the past, Blue Planet takes a hard stance about not bringing in a number of fish that are difficult to feed or have special requirements only found in nature (in fact we’re so picky we reject more than we order). It is good to see suppliers getting on that train of thought too.
The idea of new fish in the trade is still bizarre and awesome to me and this is being accomplished through the captive breeding. Genetic manipulation is nothing new –the Japanese did it with ornamental Koi fish as far back as the early 1800’s. We regularly have types of clownfish available that do not exist in nature. What’s coming next is anyone’s guess.
Captive breeding of saltwater fish is something that is going to grow significantly over time. Take, for example, the Blue Tang (or “Dori” from Finding Nemo). That movie made that fish incredibly popular though it was already a favorite, and the price of it has skyrocketed because of the demand. This is one of the fish they are trying to breed, or at least cultivate eggs from, in captivity. The fish will lay 250 eggs at a time. Think about that….
Thanks as always for reading. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and best wishes in 2015!