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Main page » Non-Fiction » From Ocean to Aquarium: The global trade in marine ornamental species

From Ocean to Aquarium: The global trade in marine ornamental species


Foreword Most of us at some time or another have enjoyed the relaxing experience of gazing into an aquarium, in a dentist’s waiting room or during a special visit to a public aquarium. In admiring the playfulness of clownfish wriggling amongst the anemones’ tentacles, the grace of angelfish swimming in open water and in our delight at spotting reclusive shrimp and crabs crawling behind iridescent living corals, it is all too easy to overlook the fact that all these wonderful creatures are far from their natural home. The great majority of animals in aquaria across Europe and North America were collected from coral reefs far away and flown, bagged in plastic and packed in styrofoam boxes, thousands of miles to our hospitals and living rooms. This report, From Ocean to Aquarium: The Global Trade in Marine Ornamental Species, takes a clear objective look at this international industry. A potential source of income for communities living close to coral reefs, the aquarium trade has been heavily criticised for the use of unsustainable collection techniques and poor husbandry practices. Policy makers have been faced with something of a dilemma in trying to control the environmentally undesirable aspects of the industry without risking the economic incentive which aquarium fishers have in caring for the coral reefs that provide their livelihoods. Where previously much controversy existed between opponents and supporters of the aquarium trade, most of it based on polarized opinion and poor information, this publication presents sound quantitative data on the species in trade. Through linking trade data to what is known about the life histories of the target organisms, conservation priorities and management recommendations are identified. I have great pleasure in presenting this report and wish to extend the gratitude of the authors to the long list of collaborating organizations and companies that have made it possible. I am confident that the information contained here will assist efforts to promote sustainable practice within the industry, as well as providing information to casual admirers of marine organisms. Mark Collins Director UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre

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Tags: aquarium, behind, iridescent, corals, overlook, species, rsquo, Ocean, ornamental, aquarium