When we speak of “seafood sustainability” we often think of tuna, salmon, shark, cod…those critters we like to eat.
But what about the sustainability of the little sea creatures we like to gawk at – aquarium fish?
The aquarium trade has a lot of similarities to seafood trade: it’s popular and its continued growth puts a strain on wild sources. The role of captive breeding programs (aquaculture) is becoming increasingly important.
A new study commissioned in part by the New England Aquarium and Roger Williams University highlights some whopping statistics;
- 1,802 species are imported to the United States.
- 11 million fish were imported from 40 countries in one year.
The study also details the dubious tracking of imports/exports – so if you wanted to find Nemo in the paperwork, you probably couldn’t.
The ornamental fish trade is an important one for many reasons – but shouldn’t it follow the same rules and regulations that other ’fisheries’ (for human consumption) must abide by?
To read the complete study “Revealing the Appetite of the Marine Aquarium Fish Trade: The Volume and Biodiversity of Fish Imported into the United States”, click here.