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The marine ornamental fish trade is expanding and still largely relies on wild fish from tropical coral reef ecosystems. There are unknowns in the wild harvest so that the sustainability of marine ornamental fish trade can therefore be questioned with aquaculture being perceived as a responsible alternative for the procurement of these ornamental marine fish. However, there are still many technical constraints that hinder its development. These blocks require additional coordination with the outcome being an accelerated development of ornamental marine fish production. The main objective of this review was to better identify, understand and discuss the role and the impacts of academic research in the production of marine ornamental fish through qualitative and quantitative approaches. To do so, 222 selected scientific publications (including peer‐reviewed articles, conferences articles, thesis and reports) from the literature available to date were analysed and outcomes were framed in perspective of the total number of captive‐bred species. Results of the meta‐analyses indicate that academic research has led to significant advances in the breeding of some of the more difficult to breed species. While it has a leading role in conservation, its advance of techniques still lags behind private companies and hobbyists. Partnerships promoting synergistic activities between academic research institutes and the private sector (aquaculture farms and public aquariums) are important to optimize future ornamental marine fish production.
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Aquaculture of marine ornamental fish: overview of the
production trends and the role of academia in research
Simon Pouil
, Michael F. Tlusty
, Andrew L. Rhyne
and Marc Metian
1 ISEM, Universit
e de Montpellier, CNRS, IRD, EPHE, Montpellier, France
2 University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
3 Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA
4 Environment Laboratories, International Atomic Energy Agency, Principality of Monaco
Simon Pouil, ISEM, Institut de Recherche pour
le D
eveloppement (IRD), Universit
Montpellier, Place Eug
ene Bataillon,
Montpellier Cedex 05, France. Email:
Received 14 February 2019; accepted 28 July
The marine ornamental fish trade is expanding and still largely relies on wild fish
from tropical coral reef ecosystems. There are unknowns in the wild harvest so
that the sustainability of marine ornamental fish trade can therefore be ques-
tioned with aquaculture being perceived as a responsible alternative for the pro-
curement of these ornamental marine fish. However, there are still many
technical constraints that hinder its development. These blocks require additional
coordination with the outcome being an accelerated development of ornamental
marine fish production. The main objective of this review was to better identify,
understand and discuss the role and the impacts of academic research in the pro-
duction of marine ornamental fish through qualitative and quantitative
approaches. To do so, 222 selected scientific publications (including peer-re-
viewed articles, conferences articles, thesis and reports) from the literature avail-
able to date were analysed and outcomes were framed in perspective of the total
number of captive-bred species. Results of the meta-analyses indicate that aca-
demic research has led to significant advances in the breeding of some of the more
difficult to breed species. While it has a leading role in conservation, its advance
of techniques still lags behind private companies and hobbyists. Partnerships pro-
moting synergistic activities between academic research institutes and the private
sector (aquaculture farms and public aquariums) are important to optimize
future ornamental marine fish production.
Key words: academic research, aquaculture, captive breeding, fishkeeping, research and devel-
opment, sustainable production.
In 2003, Disney and Pixar released a hit movie, ‘Finding
Nemo’ with the two main protagonists being Nemo, a
clown anemone fish Amphiprion ocellaris and Dory, a Paci-
fic blue tang Paracanthurus hepatus. Although the influence
of the movie (called the ‘Nemo Effect’; Militz & Foale
2017) on purchases of wild-caught fish could not be rigor-
ously demonstrated (D. Ver
ıssimo, S. Anderson, M.F.
Tlusty, unpublished data), some news media papers and
pet stores reported increasing clownfish sales following the
release of this film (Prosek 2010). Notwithstanding, some
authors argue that such movies based on an emotive but
scientifically incorrect approach, driven by popular media
to promote coral reef ecosystems protection can be damag-
ing because it could unintentionally contribute to impul-
sive purchase of coral marine species by uninformed people
(Militz & Foale 2017; Olivotto et al. 2017).
The threats for coral reefs related to the collection of
ornamental fish include the reduction in biodiversity from
over-extraction and habitat destruction in some source
countries (Dammannagoda 2018). The large number of
species in the trade (over 2500, Rhyne et al. 2017b) from a
large number of countries with many species being col-
lected at number <1000 individuals per year (Rhyne et al.
2017b) make any fisheries management plan onerous.
©2019 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd 1217
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Furthermore, destructive methods are still used illegally
such as cyanide in Southeast Asia (Vagelli 2011; Cohen
et al. 2013) although some efforts have been made to adopt
friendly collecting methods such as nets and traps (Lecchini
et al. 2006). Destructive methods are non-selective, cause
considerable and long-term damages to coral reefs, risky
for collectors and resulted in very high mortality of wild-
caught fish. For instance cyanide fishing has been reported
to result in >80% mortality of marine aquarium fish being
exported to other countries (Rubec et al. 2001). Taking
account all the steps from the catches to the final buyer, it
is usually estimated that only 3040% caught marine orna-
mental fish survive (Wabnitz et al. 2003). All these figures
demonstrate a high degree of unknowns regarding the sus-
tainability of wild fish collection for the marine ornament
The marine aquarium trade is a global multimillion
industry that started in the 1930s and experienced a signifi-
cant increase over the last decades (Wabnitz et al. 2003;
Murray et al. 2012; Rhyne et al. 2012; Leal et al. 2015).
Thus, marine ornamental fish trade increased from US$24-
40 million annually in the 1980s (Wood 1985) to currently
exceed US$300 million (Palmtag 2017). Approximately
2030 million marine reef fish are commercialized every
year worldwide (Wabnitz et al. 2003; Rhyne et al. 2012;
Leal et al. 2015). The pressure on wild stocks is increasing,
to the point of endangering certain species. One of the
famous examples of the direct impacts of fisheries for
aquarium trade is the Banggai cardinalfish Pterapogon
kauderni natives to Sulawesi. As described by Rhyne et al.
(2012), once P. kauderni entered the marine aquarium
trade it quickly became heavily traded and overexploited.
Import prices of Banggai cardinalfish dropped as supplies
increased and wild population suffered a reduction in pop-
ulation fitness. The Banggai cardinalfish is now included in
the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species under the
‘Endangered’ status (IUCN 2019).
The captive breeding of marine ornamental fish spe-
cies (i.e. spawning, hatching, settling and growth to the
juvenile or adult stage in enclosed system) is a way to
support marine fish aquarium trade (Olivotto et al.
2017). However, there are still numerous critical steps
to widely produce ornamental marine fish (Moorhead
& Zeng 2010; Olivotto et al. 2011, 2017). One of the
bottlenecks in marine ornamental fish production is the
larval rearing: many species produce larvae virtually
impossible to maintain under appropriate conditions,
including adequate feeding based on our current knowl-
edge (DiMaggio et al. 2017; Olivotto et al. 2017; Rhyne
et al. 2017a; Callan et al. 2018). Increase the research
effort on marine ornamental fish aquaculture is one of
the ways to overcome the current brakes to increase
the availability of captive-bred (CB) species.
Previous literature reviews on this topic have exam-
ined the state-of-the-art marine ornamental fish produc-
tion advances from academic research, at different
points of time, including developments in breeding
methods as well as larval rearing (see Moorhead & Zeng
2010). The present review is looking at the historical
status of marine ornamental fish aquaculture with an
emphasis on the advances of academic research. It also
provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis on the
field of research to highlight, understand and discuss the
impacts of academic research in the marine ornamental
fish aquaculture. Although this study was focused on
marine ornamental fish aquaculture, most of the issues
addressed apply also to invertebrates.
Captive-bred species list
Captive-bred species list from the CORAL Magazine
The starting point of this study was collection of the data
from the annually updated CORAL Magazine (https:// This magazine is known for
reporting all existing captive-bred marine fish species in a
list (after called CORAL list) since January 2013. More pre-
cisely, this list is an annual project, carried out by CORAL
Magazine and the Marine Breeding Initiative (MBI), and
correspond to an annual accounting of first-time tropical
marine fish breeding accomplishments as well as accessibil-
ity of CB marine fishes within the marine aquarium hobby
and industry (CORAL 2018). This list was drawn from pre-
vious inventories such as the Frank Baensch’s CB species
list established for Reef Culture Technologies (https://
my-research) last updated in 2011.
To be listed, breeding successes of new species must be
supported by documentation to attest to the veracity of the
information and/or confirmed by third-party sources (see
CORAL 2018 for details regarding methodology). The list
included species bred in captivity as well as their relative
availability in the US market. Thus, listed species can be:
(1) Unavailable: Authors and consulted parties were una-
ware of any availability of these species.
(2) Scarce: Only one source or breeder identified for these
species, limited number of individuals have been com-
mercially available.
(3) Moderate: Limited availability for these species, but
several sources identified.
(4) Common: Commonly available on the market, easy to
find as CB species, and available from several sources.
Before the publication of a new list, the authors and edi-
tors of the list once again reach out to commercial aquacul-
turists, public aquarists and academic researchers, in an
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S. Pouil et al.
attempt to compile the most comprehensive list possible
(CORAL 2018).
Checking and updating the CB species list
In order to check and update the CORAL list content, all
the lists established for the years 2012 to 2017, available
online (CORAL 2018), have been downloaded and sorted
by year. In all cases, species names were verified using the
World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) (Appeltans
et al. 2012) and FishBase (Froese & Pauly 2019) and cor-
rected when species names were misspelled or species listed
under a former synonym. A sorting was then made to
remove species mainly raised for human consumption. As a
result of this sorting, 20 species from six families were
removed from the list (Table 1). Although seahorses are
used in traditional medicine, Koldewey and Martin-Smith
(2010) have shown that sale of live seahorses for aquariums
was the dominant market for CB seahorses, and why these
species were included in our analysis. Data on each
reported breeding success were collected from general
online public articles, reports and discussion forums. In
order to evaluate the availability of CB species on the world
market, availability from e-commerce websites (n=9)
from different countries were recorded from September to
December 2018 as well as the product list on aquaculture
company and wholesaler websites (n=8). In parallel, sur-
veys were sent to the marine ornamental aquaculture stake-
holders (consultants and wholesalers, n=4 replies) from
Asia and Europe to determine the availability of species
recorded in the CORAL list established for 2017 in non-US
markets. Global Marine Aquarium Database (GMAD,
Wabnitz et al. 2003) was one more source of information
used to evaluate the availability of CB species in the aquar-
ium trade.
The entire data collection process led to the construction
of a database (Data S1) for the year 2017 where the identi-
fied ornamental marine fish species already CB were
reported and sorted by family. Aceepted scientific names,
vernacular name, IUCN Red List status (IUCN 2019) and
commercial availability were also provided.
Academic literature search
Searches were performed individually for each identified
captive bred fish species fish (see section Checking and
updating the CB species list) using two commonly used
databases: Google Scholar and Web of Science (WOS). In
addition, the proceedings from the World Aquaculture
Society (WAS) were also considered. Searches included
peer-reviewed articles, conferences articles, thesis and sci-
entific reports over the time span from 1950 to present
(2018, December 31). Following searches, non-relevant
records (i.e. studies that did not address aquaculture and
captive breeding) and review articles were removed. The
completeness of the results obtained was considered as sat-
isfactory based on (i) comparison with previous reviews
(Koldewey & Martin-Smith 2010; Moorhead & Zeng 2010;
Olivotto et al. 2011; Dom
ınguez & Botella 2014; Cohen
et al. 2017) and (ii) using ‘snowballing’ references (i.e.
checking citations on reference lists of relevant articles until
no further relevant articles could be found; Sayers 2007).
Advances in academic research
We are aware that improvements made in the cultivation
of more suitable live prey such as copepods (e.g. Alajmi
et al. 2015) were among the most important advances
achieved in academic research on marine ornamental fish
production. Nevertheless, this review is only focusing on
research directly related to fish. From the list of final list of
selected papers, each record was then categorised on the
basis of the study content and the method used. The differ-
ent categories are mainly resulting from the key stages of
fish biological development (from egg to adult) and main
aquaculture production steps. The selected categories are
the following:
(1) Broodstock management: studies addressing basic
aspects of maintenance and maturation in captivity of
adult fish used as broodstock.
(2) Spawning: studies reporting spawning in captivity from
already CB or wild broodstock, matured or not in cap-
Table 1 List of the CB marine fish species for human consumption
and fishkeeping that have been excluded from our analysis
Family Scientific name Vernacular name
Batrachoididae Opsanus tau Oyster toadfish
Ephippidae Chaetodipterus faber Atlantic spadefish
Platax batavianus Humpback batfish
Platax orbicularis Orbicular batfish
Platax pinnatus Dusky batfish
Lutjanidae Lutjanus sebae Emperor red snapper
Serranidae Cromileptes altivelis Humpback grouper
Plectropomus leopardus Leopard coralgrouper
Epinephelus lanceolatus Giant grouper
Epinephelus marginatus Dusky grouper
Plectropomus areolatus Squaretail coralgrouper
Plectropomus leopardus Leopard coralgrouper
Siganidae Siganus canaliculatus White-spotted spinefoot
Siganus fuscescens Mottled spinefoot
Siganus guttatus Orange-spotted spinefoot
Siganus lineatus Golden-lined spinefoot
Siganus rivulatus Marbled spinefoot
Siganus vermiculatus Vermiculated spinefoot
Tetraodontidae Sphoeroides annulatus Bullseye puffer
Sphoeroides maculatus Northern puffer
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Aquaculture of marine ornamental fish
(3) Egg/Embryonic development: studies quantifying egg
quality from captive spawning and/or describing incu-
bation phase and embryonic development.
(4) Larval rearing: studies addressing main aspects of larval
rearing such the influence of first exogenous food, food
enrichment, prey density or/and physical and chemical
conditions on zootechnical performances.
(5) Metamorphosis: studies in which larval rearing has been
accomplished until larvae metamorphosis. This cate-
gory includes both studies reporting complete larval
rearing (from hatching to metamorphosis) or partial
larval rearing resulting, for example from purchased
hatched larvae.
(6) Juvenile rearing: studies investigating juvenile rearing
from juveniles obtained from larvae or purchased from
Aquaculture Company.
Captive bred species reported from 2012 to 2017
There are currently 338 marine ornamental fish species
belonging to 37 families reported as Captive bred (CB) spe-
cies (Fig. 1 and Table 2; excluding species that may be
intended for human consumption). Among these species,
134 are commercially available but only 18% of them are
regularly available on the market (Table 2). These are
mainly species of clownfish (Pomacentridae), dottyback
(Pseudochromidae), blenny (Blennidae) and cardinalfish
Since 2012, when the first CORAL list was published, the
number of marine ornamental CB fish species has linearly
increased from 225 to 338 in 2017 (Fig. 1a). However, the
trends observed are not the same depending on the families
considered. Among the six most represented families (i.e.
69% of the studied species in 2017; Fig. 1a), the number of
CB species has been constant since 2012 for Blennidae,
Pomacentridae and Pseudochromidae (Fig. 1b). Con-
versely, for the lesser studied species, the number of Gobi-
idae, Pomacanthidae and Syngnatidae increased over the
last 23 years (Fig. 1c).
Academic research effort
Summary of scientific database searches
From the initial aquaculture-related studies within the bib-
liographic survey, 222 relevant records were identified (ac-
cording to the criteria described in the section Advances in
academic research). These studies were composed of 184
peer-reviewed research articles, seven scientific reports,
three theses and 28 conference abstracts and articles. These
indicated that academic research effort focused on 117 spe-
cies from 23 families (Table 3).
The bibliometric analysis revealed that academic research
effort on reproduction, growth and/or production of
Figure 1 (a) Overview of CB marine ornamental fish species listed from 2012 to 2017. The proportions (in number of species) for the 6-main CB
families are indicated in the table, ( ) all species (b) Stagnation of the number of species CB in 3 of the main families: Blennidae, Pomacen-
tridae and Pseudochromidae over the period 20122017: and (c) Increase in species produced in the Gobiidae, Pomacanthidae and
Syngnathidae in the period 20122017. For a baseline, the number of CB species reared in 2000 from Frank Baench’s list is provided.
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marine ornamental fish species increased exponentially
from the 1960s until the 2000s with one publication pub-
lished during the 1960s against 85 publications by the end
of the 2000s (Fig. 2). After 2009, the research effort contin-
ued to increase, with 120 publications published between
2010 and December 2018. A similar trend was observed for
the number of species considered (Fig. 2). Globally, 26
countries contributed, 20 with more than one study
(Fig. 3). The largest contributor was the USA, represented
by 51 studies on 46 species, followed by India with 34 stud-
ies on 26 species and Australia represented by 23 studies on
22 species. The remaining countries were represented by 1
to 15 studies each on 1 to 14 species (Fig. 3).
Academic research from a zootechnical point of view
In addition to the reports on the studied species, informa-
tion on the main zootechnical advances led by academic
research was collected. For this purpose, the selected publi-
cations were analysed in order to determine which produc-
tion phases were considered keeping in mind that some
studies may investigate more than one phase. Results shows
that more than 70% of the published academic research
Table 2 Summary of the CB species reported at the end of 2017
Family Number of species Availability on the market (%) IUCN status (%)
Unavailable Scarce Moderate Common NE DD LC NT VU EN
Acanthuridae 2 50 50 100
Antennariidae 1 100 100
Apogonidae 16 38 38 12 12 75 19 6
Balistidae 3 67 33 34 33 34
Batrachoididae 1 100 100
Blennidae 19 47 16 21 16 100
Callionymidae 7 43 14 43 86 14
Carangidae 2 100 100
Centriscidae 1 100 100
Chaetodontidae 5 80 20 100
Dasyatidae 1 100 100
Diodontidae 2 100 100
Gobiesocidae 2 50 50 100
Gobiidae 44 57 23 20 38 2 55 5
Grammatidae 3 67 33 100
Haemulidae 3 33 67 100
Hemiscylliidae 5 40 20 40 20 60 20
Heterodontidae 1 100 100
Kuhliidae 1 100 100
Labridae 8 100 12 75 13
Labrisomidae 1 100 100
Monacanthidae 5 40 20 40 20 60 20
Opistognathidae 3 100 100
Ostraciidae 1 100 100
Pholidichthyidae 1 100 100
Plesiopidae 6 17 33 50 100
Plotosidae 1 100 100
Pomacanthidae 40 53 47 3 2 93 3
Pomacentridae 59 53 20 8 19 90 10
Pseudochromidae 28 61 18 7 14 64 4 32
Ptereleotridae 2 100 50 50
Scianidae 4 75 25 100
Scyliorhinidae 1 100 100
Serranidae 11 91 9 100
Syngnathidae 44 77 9 9 5 9 36 25 5 23 2
Tetraodontidae 3 100 67 33
Tripterygiidae 1 100 100
TOTAL (% total species) 338 (100) 204 (60) 73 (22) 37 (11) 24 (7) 125 (37) 21 (6) 165 (49) 8 (2) 16 (5) 3 (1)
For the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status: DD, Data Deficient; EN, Endangered; LC, Least Concern; NE, Not Evaluated; NT,
Near Threatened; VU, Vulnerable.
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Aquaculture of marine ornamental fish
was focused on the first production steps (i.e. from the
broodstock management to the eggs), whereas only 46%
were performed on larval rearing, while 32% carried out
experiments until metamorphosis (Fig. 4). Furthermore,
there was disparity between the families studied (Fig. 4).
Indeed, the production of species from certain families
such as Apogonidae, Blennidae, Gobiidae or Pomacentridae
were the focus of research on all life stages. This was also
true for other species without free-larval stage such as the
Hemiscylliidae, Scyliorhinidae or Syngnathidae. On the
other hand, full coverage of each life stage was not
researched for other families. This is particularly true for
the species of Pomacanthidae family: although academic
research effort was important on this family with 19 studies
on the breeding of different species from this family (e.g.
Olivotto et al. 2006; Baensch & Tamaru 2009; Callan et al.
Table 3 Summary of the marine ornamental fish species studied in academic research
Family Number of studies Number of species IUCN status (%) Captive-bred (%)
Acanthuridae 7 2 100 100
Apogonidae 5 7 72 14 14 71
Blenniidae 3 1 100 100
Callionymidae 6 2 100 100
Carangidae 1 1 100 100
Chaetodontidae 5 3 100 33 77
Dasyatidae 1 1 100 100
Diodontidae 2 3 67 33
Gobiesocidae 1 1 100 100
Gobiidae 13 8 14 86 57
Grammatidae 2 2 50 50 50
Haemulidae 3 3 100 100
Hemiscylliidae 3 2 50 50 100
Labridae 4 4 100
Microdesmidae 1 1 100 100
Opistognathidae 1 1 100
Pomacanthidae 19 15 7 93 86
Pomacentridae 75 30 93 7 90
Pseudochromidae 5 8 88 12 100
Sciaenidae 1 3 100 100
Scyliorhinidae 1 1 100 100
Serranidae 1 1 100
Syngnatidae 73 17 6 53 35 6 94
TOTAL (% total species) 222 117 49 (42) 10 (9) 46 (39) 3 (3) 6 (5) 2 (2) 96 (80)
For the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status: DD, Data Deficient; EN, Endangered; LC, Least Concern; NE, Not Evaluated; NT,
Near Threatened; VU, Vulnerable.
1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2018
Number of species or studies
Figure 2 Historical trends in the academic research performed on reproduction and rearing of marine ornamental fish expressed as number of pub-
lished works and number of species studied since the 1960s to present. ( ) Studies; ( ) Species.
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2014; Rajeswari et al. 2017; Fig. 3), metamorphosis was
almost never achieved. This observation was also true for
other less studied families such as Acanthuridae and
Total CB species vs. species studied in academic research
Sections Captive bred species reported from 2012 to 2017
and Summary of scientific database searches revealed
that, 338 species from 37 different families were CB and
117 species from 23 families studied by research scientists
from academia respectively (Fig. 5). The two families
most represented were Pomacentridae (with 59 CB and
30 studied species), and Syngnathidae (with 44 CB and
17 studied species). For these families, there were at least
twofold more CB species than species studied at the aca-
demic research side. Interestingly, Gobiidae were also
among the most CB families with 44 species but their
occurrence was limited in scientific literature (eight spe-
cies, Fig. 5). With the exception of Microdesmidae (no
recorded as CB but one species studied by academists,
Madhu & Madhu 2014), there was always a greater num-
ber of CB species than species studied by academic
researchers. This trend was particularly true for Gobiidae
because they were also among the most studies CB fami-
lies with 44 species, but their occurrence was limited in
scientific literature (eight species, Fig. 5).
Overview of marine ornamental fish aquaculture
Based on the CORAL list analysis, to date, 338 species of
marine ornamental fish have been successfully captive bred
with much of this success driven by private companies and
enlightened hobbyists. Although this number has increased
by an average percentage rate of 8% since 2012, it only rep-
resents 19% of the marine ornamental fish species traded
for the aquarium hobby (i.e. a minimum of 1800 species
traded annually; Palmtag 2017; Rhyne et al. 2017b). More-
over, our results shown that only a minor fraction of these
CB species (7%) are commonly available on the market
such as blenny, clownfish and dottyback (Table 2). Other
species have a limited availability on the market (i.e. releases
not constant throughout the year and/or in small quanti-
ties) such as cardinalfish, goby and some seahorses
(Table 2), while others are on the verge of being commer-
cialized with very first releases in the last 2 years, such as CB
surgeonfish (Acanthuridae). This meta-analysis confirms a
vast majority of marine ornamental fish are still wild-caught
to date. Research in aquaculture of marine ornamental spe-
cies is therefore crucial to allow a move towards greater sus-
tainability of the marine fishkeeping practice.
One of the primary benefits of aquaculture research is
that the species’ biology is thoroughly investigated. This
often leads to improvements of cultivation methods (e.g.
Number of species or studies
Figure 3 Overview of research on reproduction and rearing of marine ornamental fish by country expressed by total number of published studies
and species studied from 1960s to present. ( ) Studies; ( ) Species.
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Aquaculture of marine ornamental fish
Figure 4 Advances in academic research for the different families studied. For each family, the proportion of published studies that have reached a
given breeding stage (i.e. broodstock management, spawning, egg/embryonic development, larval rearing, metamorphosis and juvenile rearing) is
indicated. The number of studies per family is indicated in brackets. (a) broodstock management, (b) Spawning, (c) Egg/Embryonic development, (d)
Larval rearing, (e) Metamorphosis, (f) Juvenile rearing.
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broodstock management, larval rearing and nutrition),
which can then be transferred to other species (Tlusty
2002). For now, there are still numerous technical critical
factors limiting captive propagation (see Olivotto et al.
2017; Rhyne et al. 2017a). Nevertheless, the main challenge
encountered in marine ornamental production remains the
larval rearing: larvae are small and they need very small, liv-
ing foods for first feeding such as copepods (Olivotto et al.
2017; Rhyne et al. 2017a). However, mass-scale production
of adequate copepod species remains challenging (Dhont
et al. 2013), and thus, streghtening research effort on first
exogenous feeding of new species’ early life-stage is neces-
sary. In addition, one last benefit is that information on the
general biology of species can further assist wildlife biolo-
gists in the management of the species on their natural
environment (Nicosia & Lavalli 1999; Tlusty 2002).
Current state of the marine ornamental fish academic
Academic research regarding marine ornamental fish aqua-
culture is most common in North America, Asia and Eur-
ope. Three countries (USA, India and in a lesser extent
Australia) are responsible for ~50% of the worldwide publi-
cations. Among these countries, it is not surprising to find
the USA in the foreground of research effort in marine
ornamental fish aquaculture since it is the main importer
country of coral reef organisms (Rhyne et al. 2012, 2017b).
In India, the marine ornamental fish trade has been a more
recent development and research is largely focused on
hatchery production methods to sustain this trade
(Gopakumar et al. 2009). In the meantime, we have to
acknowledge the potential bias (Morrison et al. 2012) in
Syngnath idae
Tet ra o d o nt i d ae
Advances in academic research Captive-bred marine ornamental fish
0 10203040506070
0 10203040506070
Number of species
Number of species
Number of species
Number of species
(a) (b)
Figure 5 (a) Number of marine ornamental fish species studied in academic research and (b) CB species.
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Aquaculture of marine ornamental fish
our analyses in academic research on ornamental marine
fish. Indeed, our selection methodology is restrictited to
English-language articles and it can result in an underesti-
mation of the reality. A necessary follow-up would be to
address academic marine ornamental research publications
from important producer countries (e.g. China, Thailand,
Philippines, Czech Republic) that are published in their
native language.
The evolution of the number of studies published per
decade (Fig. 2) indicates that the research effort is growing.
However, the information published in this research area
to date is limited to 117 species, and only 13 were among
the top 20 species imported into the US (Rhyne et al.
2017b). Nevertheless, we found no relationship between the
volume of fish imported and the intensity of academic
research (i.e. number of publications).
Currently, less than 50% of the studies have been focused
on first-exogenous feeding, the most critical phase in mar-
ine fish aquaculture. Furthermore, academic research
results have been published on all breeding stages (i.e. from
the broodstock management to the juvenile rearing) for
only 58 species (i.e. 50% of the studied species). These
results suggest that advances in the captive breeding of
ornamental marine fish are mainly attributable to private
companies through their research and development activi-
ties and advanced hobbyists. This finding contrasts with the
aquaculture of marine fish for human consumption.
Indeed, marine food-fish aquaculture developed in the 70
80s, and the bottlenecks regarding captive breeding and
nutrition were solved by intense academic research efforts
(Nicolaisen 2018). For example aquaculture of European
seabass Dicentrarchus labrax and gilthead seabream Sparus
aurata was initiated on the basis of an important mostly
public research effort (UK, France) which started in the
1970s. Then, private entrepreneurship and international
cooperation joined the effort and expanded aquaculture all
around the Mediterranean Sea (Harache & Paquotte 1996).
Some authors suggest that the achievements in marine
foodfish culture may be applicable to techniques for marine
ornamental fish aquaculture, however, concerted scientific
research efforts are lacking (Ostrowski & Laidley 2001).
Furthermore, as indicated in the Table 1, some species can
be used both for ornamental purpose or as food resource
(usually depending on their life-stage). In this case, aca-
demic research performed is beneficial to both production
sectors (food or ornamental). Batfish (Platax sp.) juveniles
are attractive for the ornamental market while adults are
marketed for human consumption in Asian and South
Pacific regions (e.g., Masanet 1995; Barros et al. 2011; Leu
et al. 2018).
Interestingly, three of the five most important families
on the market: Pomacentridae, Gobiidae and Pomacanthi-
dae are among the most studied families with the highest
number of CB species (Table 4). The Pomacentridae largely
dominate the aquarium market and 80% of the 10 best-sell-
ing species belong to this family (Rhyne et al. 2017b). Like
Gobiidae, Pomacentridae are generally low value (per indi-
vidual) species (Biondo 2017; Rhyne et al. 2017b) unlike
Pomacanthidae, which are among the most valuable species
(Wood 2001; Balboa 2003). The values of one species has
been shown to be closely related to his availability on the
market (Green 2003). Considering that, we assume that
similarities and differences between the patterns observed
for academic research and private sector (Fig. 5) can be
explained by the following three different strategies:
(1) Private companies would be focused on mass produc-
tion of easy-to-trade and easy-to-breed species such as
Pomacentridae and dedicate their R&D for very valu-
able species such as Pomacanthidae.
(2) Academists would work on a variety of species depend-
ing on the need: species easy to breed in order to work
on specific research topics in replicated experiments or
challenging species to work on a new species (like, e.g.
Chaetodontidae or Pomacanthidae species).
(3) Advanced hobbyists would be less interested in the
captive breeding of common species, and work on
original species that not yet captive bred on a large
scale without any economic objective.
Academic research and private sectors can be linked.
Obviously, the publication of scientific results and exten-
sion papers makes information accessible to companies.
Other interactions exist between academic research and the
private sector such as funding or graduate students working
Table 4 Top 5 families of marine ornamental fish in terms of (A) volume of fish imported on the world, the USA and the Switzerland markets, (B)
number of species studied by academia and (C) number of species captive bred by private companies and hobbyists
Rank A - Markets B - Academic research C - Private companies and hobbyists
World USA Switzerland
1 Pomacentridae Pomacentridae Pomacentridae Pomacentridae Pomacentridae
2 Labridae Labridae Labridae Syngnatidae Syngnatidae
3 Gobiidae Pomacanthidae Gobiidae Pomacanthidae Gobiidae
4 Pomacanthidae Gobiidae Acanthuridae Gobiidae Pomacanthidae
5 Acanthuridae Acanthuridae Pomacanthidae Pseudochromidae Pseudochromidae
Reviews in Aquaculture (2020) 12, 1217–1230
©2019 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
S. Pouil et al.
for private companies that may assist in more effective
technology transfer than publications. A non negligible part
of the academic studies included in this review (approx.
10%) were carried out, at least partially, in collaboration
with production companies (e.g. da Hora & Joyeux 2009;
Leis et al. 2011) or public aquaria (e.g. Tlusty et al. 2013,
2017; Doi et al. 2015a,b). This can be explained by the
availability of infrastructures better adapted to maintain
some species with special needs (e.g. pelagic spawners such
as Acanthuridae and Pomacanthidae; Leu et al. 2009, 2010;
Cassiano et al. 2015; Leu et al. 2015) or large specimens
such as sharks (Harahush et al. 2007; H
ovel et al. 2010;
Payne 2012). Furthermore, public aquaria are also involved
in the conservation programs of some species in collabora-
tion with academists (Maitland 1995; Tlusty et al. 2013).
Some species can be challenging to captive bred due to
their specific requirements, the investment in time and
money needed and/or their high production costs, which
are inconsistent with profitability objectives from private
companies. In this context, academic research can lead to
significant advances. For instance some species of Acan-
thuridae and Chaetodontidae required many years of
intensive research and for which the first successes of
breeding in captivity up to the production of juveniles
were recently published by academic teams (DiMaggio
et al. 2017; Callan et al. 2018; Ohs et al. 2018). Although
survival rates (<1%) are still incompatible with large-scale
commercial production, this research has unlocked certain
barriers in the production of pelagic spawner species
(Olivotto et al. 2017) such as the Pacific blue tang Para-
canthurus hepatus, reef butterflyfish Chaetodon sedentarius
and yellow tang Zebrasoma flavescens. These success stories
illustrate the benefits of interactions between research
institutes and private sector in the production of marine
ornamental fish.
Drivers of marine ornamental fish aquaculture research
To understand how the dynamic of marine ornamental fish
aquaculture research is influenced, it is important to con-
sider all the potential drivers. The trade of marine orna-
mental organisms is the main obvious one. Indeed, as a
consequence of the growing demand for marine ornamen-
tal fish, the pressure on wild stocks is increasing. Although,
most of the species currently traded are abundant and
occur over wide geographical areas and are generally not
endemic or ‘rare’ (Rhyne et al. 2012), current knowledge
regarding the real status of wild populations is limited.
Indeed, we found in our analysis, that among the 338 CB
species, 37% were not evaluated by IUCN (Table 2). Fur-
thermore, the negative impacts of fisheries for aquarium
trade have been demonstrated for some species. One of the
most striking example is the Banggai cardinalfish, an
endemic species of the Banggai Islands (Central Sulawesi,
Indonesia). Indeed, several subpopulations of this species
were strongly affected by the aquarium fishery and exhib-
ited dramatic declines (Yahya et al. 2012; Talbot et al.
2013; Conant 2015). Therefore, another driver that could
be identified is policy: restricting or banning the harvest of
some marine ornamental fish from the wild to supply the
marine aquarium trade is becoming a growing option when
advocating reef conservation (Dee et al. 2014). In the near
future, the collection of several banned species in the trade
will be severely restricted, or even prohibited (Calado
2017). In this context, academic research plays also impor-
tant role in marine fish conservation as evidenced by the 8
threatened species that have been studied by academics
(seven Syngnathidae et one Apogonidae, see Table 3). An
increasing demand on the market combined with increas-
ingly constrained wild-catches are factors that may favour
research on marine ornamental fish aquaculture, whether
academic, conducted by private companies or by hobbyists.
Nevertheless, there are other limiting factors that restrain
the research done on marine ornamental fish in addition to
the zootechnical brakes well detailed in literature (e.g. Oliv-
otto et al. 2017) that may eventually be overcome.
One of the aims of this research is to be able to supply
the market with marine ornamental fish produced through
closed-cycle aquaculture. Despite significant progress, pro-
duction of CB fish is unfortunately not cost-effective yet
compared to their wild-caught counterparts. The selling
prices of CB fish, can be at least 25% higher than those of
their wild equivalents (Fotedar & Philips 2011). For exam-
ple aquaculture of mandarin dragonets Synchiropus sp. is
feasible but faces a large supply of cheaper wild fish (25
USD per wild fish vs. 60 USD per CB fish; Rhyne et al.
2017a). Thus, the marketplace need to appreciate fully the
advantages of cultured species over wild-caught species to
accept the higher prices charged (Corbin et al. 2003).
In this context, successful large-scale production of
ornamental marine CB fish is mainly dependent on con-
sumer (i.e. hobbyist) choice and thus the risk on the mar-
ket is the non-sustainability of the demand in the long
run. The bright side for future of farming of ornamental
fish is that the current fishkeepers are becoming more and
more sensitive to the sustainability of ornamental fish pro-
duction and price does not seems to be the determining
factor in their purchase (Militz et al. 2017). The context
for the marine fish aquaculture is thus positive, which
could consequently stimulate the future research under-
taken in this field. Moreover, it should be emphasized that
the role of hobbyists is and will remain predominant
because they can act on both the trade, by favouring CB
fish, as well as through their own research, often freely
shared, mainly motivated by the challenge of successful
reproduction of difficult to captive-bred species.
Reviews in Aquaculture (2020) 12, 1217–1230
©2019 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd 1227
Aquaculture of marine ornamental fish
This review highlighted that, regarding advances in captive
breeding of marine ornamental fish, academic research is
only the tip of the iceberg. Many advances have come
through private companies and enlightened hobbyists.
However, academic research plays a key role for developing
captive reproductive success of certain species requiring
many years of development, and for marine species conser-
vation especially in the current context where more and
more drastic measures are being taken by the governments
concerned to protect coral ecosystems (Dee et al. 2014).
Unfortunately, from a realistic point of view and despite all
the progress made, the research effort in this domain
remains to date very expensive and time consuming. It is
unlikely that in the near future the majority of marine
ornamental fish will be CB as seen freshwater ornamental
fish, of which an increasing number of species are now
domesticated (Teletchea 2016). In this context, it is crucial
to first act in favour of sustainable fishing methods (i.e.
with proper stock management and avoiding habitat
destruction), then to promote CB fish production (Rhyne
et al. 2014). Consumer awareness is a necessary component
to drive the development of alternatives to ornamental fish
collected from the wild.
The authors acknowledge the Tal Sweet and Matthew Ped-
ersen and the entire CORAL Magazine team and everyone
involved with CORAL Magazine’s Captive Bred Marine
Aquarium Fish Project. The authors grateful to Alain
Duday, consultant in marine ornamental fish aquaculture
for his constructive inputs on the database. Authors also
thank Frank Baensch, biologist, who, through discussions
and the useful information from his personal website help
to start this project. The IAEA is grateful to the Govern-
ment of the Principality of Monaco for the support pro-
vided to its Environment Laboratories. This is publication
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Supporting Information
Additional supporting information may be found online
in the Supporting Information section at the end of the
Data S1. List of ornamental marine fish species studied
in academic research.
Reviews in Aquaculture (2020) 12, 1217–1230
©2019 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
S. Pouil et al.
... The marine ornamental fish industry has been in development since the 1930s and has grown into a multi-million dollar global industry, steadily expanding over the past few decades (Wood 2001;Biondo 2017;Pouil et al. 2020;Priyashadi et al. 2022). In the United States, keeping marine aquariums has become a hobby for 2.2 million households (APPA 2023). ...
... Numerous academic institutions and private organizations have dedicated their research efforts to marine ornamental fish aquaculture, and information regarding successful breeding endeavors can be found in academic journals and on websites (Pouil et al. 2020;Chen et al. 2020;Biota 2023;Rising Tide Conservation 2023). To date, approximately 400 species of marine ornamental fish have been successfully bred in controlled environments. ...
... To date, approximately 400 species of marine ornamental fish have been successfully bred in controlled environments. Despite these achievements, ensuring a sustainable supply of these species to the market remains a challenging task, with less than 10% of the bred species achieving consistent production levels Pouil et al. 2020;Sweet and Pedersen 2019;Anil et al. 2022). Moorhead and Zeng (2010) have extensively discussed the difficulties associated with aquaculture and cultivation of marine ornamental fish, with a particular emphasis on larval rearing, which is identified as a major bottleneck and the most arduous aspect of commercialization (Groover et al. 2021;Chen et al. 2020). ...
The white-barred goby, Amblygobius phalaena, is a popular ornamental fish in the marine aquarium market. To achieve successful commercial production, efficient larval rearing techniques are crucial. Previous studies have achieved successful cultivation of A. phalaena larvae using a combination of three live feed organisms: ciliates Euplotes sp., rotifers Brachionus rotundiformis, and copepod Apocyclops royi nauplii during the first feeding stage. However, the specific contributions of these live feed organisms to larval survival and growth remain unclear. Moreover, the optimal feeding density for the critical initial live feed organism has not been determined experimentally. In this study, we aimed to enhance the larviculture protocol for A. phalaena by introducing oyster trochophores and addressing these knowledge gaps. Our experiments revealed that A. phalaena larvae could consume both oyster trochophores and Euplotes sp. during the first feeding stage. However, larva exhibited superior survival and growth performance when fed oyster trochophores. The optimal feeding density of oyster trochophores was determined to be 10 individuals (ind.)/mL, while a feeding density as high as 20 ind./mL resulted in decreased larval feeding incidence. These findings have significant implications for enhancing larval production programs of marine ornamental gobies and promoting their sustainable commercialization.
... The marine ornamental fish trade is a global and continuously expanding industry [1]. From the 1980s to today, its output value has increased from USD 24-40 million per year to more than USD 300 million [2,3], and there are approximately 20-30 million marine ornamental fish on the market every year [1,4]. ...
... The marine ornamental fish trade is a global and continuously expanding industry [1]. From the 1980s to today, its output value has increased from USD 24-40 million per year to more than USD 300 million [2,3], and there are approximately 20-30 million marine ornamental fish on the market every year [1,4]. However, to supply market demand, the excessive harvesting of coral reef fish in the wild results in habitat destruction, threats to the survival of wild populations, and loss of biodiversity [5,6]. ...
... However, to supply market demand, the excessive harvesting of coral reef fish in the wild results in habitat destruction, threats to the survival of wild populations, and loss of biodiversity [5,6]. Therefore, reducing the reliance on wild reef fish and hunting will contribute to the sustainable development of the aquarium industry and ecosystems [1,7]. ...
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White-barred goby Amblygobius phalaena is a highly valued marine ornamental fish, but its captive reproduction and early life history are poorly understood. In this study, the captive reproductive behavior, early development, and optimal temperature and salinity for the larval survival and viability of A. phalaena were investigated for the first time. Spawning occurred between 11:00 and 13:00, with the breeding pairs naturally spawning 24 times from 1 June 2021 to 30 June 2022. The fecundity ranged from 11,022 to 95,858 eggs per spawning event. Hatching occurred approximately 81 h and 26 min after fertilization at a temperature of 27.0 ± 0.9 ◦C. Newly hatched larvae had a total length (TL) of 1.91–2.03 mm with 24–26 somites. The larvae transformed into juveniles at 30 days post-hatch. Experiments were conducted at different temperatures (21, 24, 27, 30, and 33 ◦C) and salinities (18, 24, 30, and 36 ppt) to determine the optimal conditions for larval survival and viability. The results indicate that the most suitable conditions in terms of temperature were in the range of 21–27 ◦C and 30 ppt for salinity. These findings provide valuable insights for the future development of captive-breeding techniques and the commercial production of other marine ornamental gobies.
... Trong vòng hai thập kỷ trở lại đây, nhu cầu nuôi cá cảnh biển nói chung và cá khoang cổ nói riêng không ngừng tăng lên. Từ đó, nghề nuôi, khai thác và buôn bán nhóm cá này đã trở thành một ngành công nghiệp quan trọng ở một số quốc gia, nhất là tại khu vực Đông Nam Á [25]. Cho đến nay, hầu hết các loài trong giống cá khoang cổ (Amphiprion) đã được sản xuất giống thành công [5,7]. ...
... Trong khi đó, màu sắc da là tiêu chí quan trọng nhất quyết định giá cả cũng như khả năng tiêu thụ của loài cá này [9,21]. Bất chấp một số thành công trong sản xuất giống thời gian qua, màu sắc kém hấp dẫn là nguyên nhân làm gia tăng trở lại áp lực khai thác lên nguồn lợi cá khoang cổ tự nhiên, gây cạn kiệt nguồn lợi và phá hủy hệ sinh thái rạn san hô [25]. Việc nghiên cứu các giải pháp cải thiện màu sắc loài cá này trong điều kiện nhân tạo là hết sức cần thiết. ...
Nghiên cứu này nhằm xác định màu bể thích hợp để cải thiện màu sắc của cá khoang cổ nemo, Amphiprion ocellaris. Cá giống (3,30 cm và 0,65 g/con) được nuôi trong các bể kính có dán giấy decal với 6 màu sắc khác nhau gồm trắng, trong, cam, xanh, tím và đen. Cá được nuôi trong hệ thống bể lọc sinh học tuần hoàn (60 lít/bể) với mật độ 15 con/bể. Mỗi nghiệm thức được thực hiện với ba lần lặp trong thời gian 60 ngày. Kết quả cho thấy màu bể có ảnh hưởng đến các thông số đánh giá màu sắc (Lab, LCh) và hàm lượng carotenoids tích lũy trong cơ thể cá khoang cổ nemo. Cá được nuôi trong các bể màu xanh, trong và trắng thể hiện màu sắc vượt trội hơn so với cá được nuôi trong các bể màu cam, tím và đen (P < 0,05). Tuy nhiên, vì màu cam - đỏ (chỉ số a*) là quan trọng nhất trong việc đánh giá chất lượng màu sắc của cá khoang cổ nemo thương mại nên bể màu xanh hoặc trong được xác định là phù hợp nhất cho nuôi loài này. Những phát hiện này nhấn mạnh vai trò của màu sắc bể trong quá trình nuôi cá khoang cổ nemo, và bể màu xanh và trong được khuyến nghị là lựa chọn tối ưu để tăng cường màu sắc rực rỡ của loài cá cảnh biển này.
... While the majority of freshwater aquarium fish species (90%) are captive-bred (Tlusty 2002;Wabnitz et al. 2003), wild populations of marine fish, corals, and other exploited marine ornamentals, unfortunately, have been severely impacted, since commercialization relies mainly on the extraction from their natural environments, such as tropical coral reefs (Pouil et al. 2020). The vast majority of marine ornamental species traded in the US are wild-caught, while only 1.0 to 4.2% are reproduced in captivity (Rhyne et al. 2015(Rhyne et al. , 2017Sweet and Pedersen 2019;Biondo and Burki 2020). ...
... Eight of these species continued in this list from 2008 to 2011 (Rhyne et al. 2017). In view of their economic importance and the current environmentally damaging practice of sourcing most of them from the wild (Pouil et al. 2020), it is highly desirable to reproduce pomacentrids in captivity for this industry to become sustainable. Moreover, larval rearing techniques developed in aquaculture are viable options to mass produce ornamental fish seedstock for release, which not only may alleviate fishing pressure, but also it would support stock enhancement of threatened species (González-Félix et al. 2019). ...
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Fishes belonging to the family Pomacentridae (clownfishes and damselfishes) dominate the marine ornamental fish trade. However, only 1.0–4.2% of marine ornamental species traded in the US are reproduced in captivity, while the vast majority are wild-caught, an environmentally damaging practice. Reproduction in captivity undoubtedly is an adequate strategy for moving in the direction of sustainability. Among ornamental marine fish species, the most spectacular advances in captive breeding have been made for clownfishes. Twenty-five species of clownfishes have been captive-bred for commercial purposes. Furthermore, numerous clownfish varieties or color morphs have been developed through selective breeding and hybridization between species has been achieved. Of at least thirty-nine damselfish species that have been reproduced in captivity, only nine are currently commercially available. This is related to the small size of eggs and to the underdeveloped state of altricial damselfish larvae. In addition, long larval periods (up to 50 dph) and low survival rates (typically less than 10%) create barriers to the success in commercial aquaculture of damselfishes. Improvements in the low survival of damselfish larvae can be expected as zootechnical aspects for larviculture are perfected (especially improved nutrition).
... Coral reefs are quickly becoming one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet (Wabnitz et al. 2003;Riegl et al. 2009). Global studies point to overfishing, habitat loss, and pollution as the biggest threats to marine biodiversity, followed by the introduction of exotic species as well as climate change (Costello et al. 2010;Pouil et al. 2019). In addition to these and other historical cumulative impacts, coral reefs have more recently suffered from the extraction of fish and other living beings destined for the international market of ornamental aquatic organisms (Schwerdtner et al. 2014). ...
... Considering financial dimensions, the international market for ornamental aquatic organisms comprises more than 125 countries (Dey 2016), generating annual economic amounts between 15 and 30 billion dollars, moving about two billion specimens (Evers et al. 2019). In this context, the vast diversity of marine aquatic organisms available is largely subsidized by ornamental fisheries: in contrast to freshwater fish, where about 90% of the species are made available to the market through aquaculture (Evers et al. 2019;King 2019), more than 90% of marine species of ornamental interest are captured in the wild (Wabnitz et al. 2003;Pouil et al. 2019). Saltwater ornamental fisheries are particularly observed on coral reefs in tropical regions in Indonesia, the Philippines, Maldives, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Hawaii, and Brazil (Sampaio and Ostrensky 2013;King 2019). ...
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The economic feasibility for captive breeding of marine ornamental fish in small spaces is poorly known, especially when considering threatened species. The present study analyzed the economic feasibility for producing Yellow Neon Goby (Elacatinus figaro) (vulnerable) in urban aquaculture systems through different production scenarios: pessimistic, normal, and optimistic, at sales prices of US$ 5.71, US$ 7.62, and US$ 9.52/unit. The financial analysis pointed the total cost of production per animal available to marine ornamental fish trade was between US$ 3.99 and R$ 8.03, with labor and rent as the main expenses. Six of the nine observed schemes showed profitability, including under loss conditions of an entire cycle. The net present value (NPV 8%) reached US$ 83,256 (negative value, unfeasible) until US$ 230,122 (positive value, viable), with profitable conditions presenting an internal rate of return (IRR) ranging from 10.87 to 97.84% and return on capital observed from the first to the sixth year of activity. In addition to the sustainable potential for biodiversity conservation, these results expressed reinforce urban ornamental aquaculture as a profitable instrument for public policy in socioeconomic development at large urban centers and their peripheral regions.
... Therefore, ornamental fish farmers' comunity development is need to to protect ornamental fish farmers in farming activities with support in the form of policies and institutions ranging from central to local (Rimmer et al., 2013;(Haryanti et al., 2023)). And community strengthening of ornamental fish requires the participation of many stakeholders, including academics (Tlusty et al., 2013;Pouil et al., 2020). Community strengthening through legal institutions envisaged that ornamental fish farmers in Malang Regency would have a stronger negotiating position through improving institutions. ...
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Cooperatives play a crucial role in the Indonesian economy, cooperatives have high values in helping to improve the country's economic welfare. Therefore, the development of a cooperative-based Indonesian economy is urgently needed to help boost the economy. Partners in this service activity are the Nusantara Ornamental Fish Malang community. Institutional strengthening is very influential in developing cooperative-based community businesses. This is based on the problems found in the form of weak ornamental fish community institutional systems, more optimal ornamental fish production, limited access to capital, and limited access to ornamental fish marketing. This service activity aims to provide knowledge and assistance in strengthening cooperative-based community business institutions. Assistance provided in the form of cooperative training and procedures for its establishment, cooperative management, facilities for procuring ornamental fish seeds, and ornamental fish marketing galleries. The result is the formation of an ornamental fish production cooperative that can run well and it is hoped that it will be able to help cooperative members and fish farmers in dealing with various problems including access to capital and assistance from the government.
... The marine ornamental fish trade is promising but still largely depends on the wild fish stocks from tropical coral reef ecosystems (Pouil et al., 2020), particularly in the Philippines. The proportion of marine ornamental fish produced in captivity and trade accounts for only 1-2% of the marine ornamental trade (Wabnitz et al., 2003;Bruckner, 2005). ...
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The reproductive biology of ornamental fish species from coral reefs is poorly studied despite increasing demand in the aquarium trade industry. Aspects of the reproductive biology of the Vagabond butterflyfish, Chaetodon vagabundus Linnaeus, 1758, from Iligan Bay, Southern Philippines were investigated from August 2021 to August 2022. Monthly samples of 30 to 45 individuals per class size with a range of 9 to 14.1 cm (TL) were collected to examine the sex ratio, maturity stages and spawning period, gonadosomatic index (GSI), length at first maturity (L50) and the batch fecundity (BF) of the species. The sex ratio showed female dominance (1:1.42) among size classes and across months. The spawning period indicates a peak during the inter-monsoon or warm months (April and May) and extends beginning of the Southwest monsoon period (June and July). These were supported by the relatively higher gonadosomatic index (GSI) recorded during these months. Histological examination showed that the ovaries during this period had the presence of numerous tertiary vitellogenic and hydrated oocytes and post-ovulatory follicles. At the same time for testes, there are occurrences of dense spermatozoa in the lumen of tubules in testes. This served as confirmatory evidence in support of the spawning period. The length at first sexual maturity of males (10.58 cm TL) was slightly shorter than females (10.91 cm TL). Fecundity increased with the fish’s total length and weight showing a non-linear relationship that was best described by a power function. This study highlighted the valuable data produced that are required for the management of the population stock of this species.
... Although advances in breeding techniques have positively impacted the ornamental fish industry (Pouil et al. 2020), the majority of marine species remain unsustainably sourced due to the complicated breeding processes involved (King 2019). One strategic approach is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms controlling the various morphological variants which could potentially be engineered for the desired outcomes. ...
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The ornamental fish industry has continued to flourish since eighteenth century with increased fascination by enthusiasts in the striking body colours and patterns displayed in the fishes, a beneficial outcome of rigorous selective programmes. The expression of these pigmented colours is the result of the differentiation and orientation of specialised chromatophores located within the dermal layer. The different types of chromatophores found in many ornamental fish species, are the basis of the unique colour hues and patterns. This review discusses the current approaches for enhancing the body pigmentation and pattern of ornamental fishes. Two factors are considered to be the main drivers of body colour regulation: feed additives (pigments) and rearing environment setup, i.e. tank colour and light. Potential candidate pigment genes to manipulate the ornamental fish body pigmentation and pattern have been elucidated through mapping of putative regulatory pathways, buoyed by the rapid development of next generation sequencing technologies. The effects of feed additives, tank background colour and light on various ornamental fish species, and regulatory pathways of involved genes offer valuable insights for enhanced variety production prior to genetic engineering and are herein discussed. It is hoped that the systematic analysis of the current knowledge in this review would be a boon for the ornamental fish community to step up efforts to boost the ornamental fish breeding industry.
Objective The color of the environment positively influences the development of some fish species. Thus, we evaluated whether different aquarium colors affected the metamorphosis process of Tomato Clownfish Amphiprion frenatus . Methods Operationally, we distributed the Tomato Clownfish larvae into white, yellow, blue, or black aquaria and monitored the larval development until 61 days posthatch. Result We found that environmental color influenced the early development of Tomato Clownfish and their metamorphosis process. In the black aquarium treatment, 87.2% of the larvae in block I completed metamorphosis and reached the juvenile stage, and 59.3% of larvae in block II completed metamorphosis (blocks represented two successive spawns). These high percentiles of metamorphosed larvae were not observed in the other tank color treatments. Conclusion Thus, our results suggest that the metamorphosis of Tomato Clownfish could be accelerated if the larviculture occurs in darker‐color conditions, especially black aquaria. This result has practical and economic implications since Tomato Clownfish specimens are commercialized at the juvenile stage.
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Indonesia has been striving to become the world’s largest ornamental fish exporter for the past two decades, but success has been limited. This study analyzes Indonesia’s export competitiveness and identifies the barriers encountered. A trade analysis using the UN-Comtrade database for 2012–2021 was conducted using the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA), Constant Market Shares (CMS), and Competitiveness Matrix formulas to evaluate the competitiveness. Qualitative data from interviews with forty-three industry stakeholders were analyzed using NVivo to evaluate export barriers. The findings revealed that Indonesia had not been optimally exporting to some of the world’s largest markets and faced various barriers, such as product quality and continuity, regulations, marketing, shipment, and other internal and external barriers. The government’s role in overcoming those barriers is crucial while maintaining environmental sustainability. We also propose a matrix model for export barrier levels consisting of export readiness, export market accessibility, export operational challenges, and dynamic export environment.
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Millions of marine ornamental fishes are traded every year. Today, over half of the known nearly 4000 coral reef fish species are in trade with poor or no monitoring and demand is increasing. This study investigates their trade into and through Switzerland by analyzing import documents for live animals. In 2009, 151 import declarations with attached species lists for marine ornamental fishes from non-EU countries totaled 28 356 specimens. The 62% of the fishes remaining in Switzerland, comprised 440 marine species from 45 families, the rest transited to EU and non-EU countries. Despite the recognized large trade volume for the European region, due to bilateral agreements, no data is collected for imports from the EU. However, inferred data shows that more than 200 000 marine ornamental fishes could be imported into Switzerland every year and an unknown quantity re-exported. As biggest import region, it is therefore safe to assume, that the European region is importing at least as many marine ornamental fishes as the US. There is no adequate data-collecting system known to be in place in any country for monitoring this trade. The EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) to monitor animal diseases could be adjusted to gather compulsory information for the EU and Switzerland. More than half of the species imported into Switzerland are not assessed by the IUCN and therefore marked as ‘not evaluated’ on the Red List. Overall, 70% of all known coral reef fish species have not been evaluated. If coral reef fishes are threatened or endangered due to large, possibly unsustainable numbers traded, it may be rational to monitor the trade in these species through the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).
After the Second World War, marine fishery industry was developed to a commercial industrial fishery by war torn countries to boost their economies. As a result, compared to traditional pole and line fishery , much larger fishing gears such as trawls and purse seines , and much larger and more powerful fishing vessels were built, and deployed to traditional fisheries grounds in the southern hemisphere. Although this led to an increase in the global marine catch in several folds, many fisheries around the world, however, have collapsed and depleted due to the over effort and overexploitation. Further, many marine resources have been destroyed as non-targeted by catch by ill-designed industrial scale fishing gears such as bottom trawls and purse seines. World-wide annual marine bycatch is around 27 million tonnes, and for bottom trawls 66–93% of the catch consists of bycatch while this is 64–79% for purse seine. Moreover, benthic marine environment around the world has been affected drastically by the bottom trawl fleet. Today, reduced industrial commercial fleet, and tough fishing regulations in developed countries have made a considerable progress towards reducing the fishing effort and hence the reduced bycatch and discards. Although modifications of industrial bottom trawls and purse seines have made a progress in reducing the bycatch to a certain extent, these fishing gears are fundamentally unsustainable. Customer interest on ‘sustainably caught’ fish and hence marine stewardship is increasing in developed countries. To this end, pole and line fishery should be propagated around the world as one of the best sustainable fishing method. Also, Ecosystem based fisheries management and small scale regional fisheries management should be the future approach in fisheries management as local knowledge on the local marine ecosystem can be used together with the participation of local fisher folks.
Longfin batfish Platax teira is one of the most important finfish species in Asian aquaculture. However, knowledge on early ontogeny and reproduction of this species in captivity are scarce and incomplete. In this study, the embryonic, larval and juvenile development of P. teira are described and illustrated for the first time. The effect of temperature (27, 30 and 33°C) on hatching rate, yolk-sac volume and oil globule volume was demonstrated. Cannibalism control via aeration adjustment for the enhancement of larval survival was also examined. Fertilized eggs were spherical, buoyant and had a diameter of 1.29±0.05mm (mean±SD). Embryonic development lasted 16h at 26.2°C. Newly hatched larvae were 2.81±0.24mm in total length (L⁠T) with 24 myomeres and had an oil globule in the ventroposterior area of the yolk sac. Early larvae had xanthophores appeared all over the body, except for the tip of the notochord. Larvae completed yolk absorption within 3days post hatching (dph) at 3.41±0.11mm L⁠T. Larvae were fed initially on rotifers Brachionus ibericus, followed by Artemia nauplii and finally weaned onto an artificial diet. From 8 dph, the larger larvae (over 4mm L⁠T) began to exhibit cannibalistic behaviour. Transformation of larvae to the juvenile stage was completed at 23.80±1.98mm L⁠T, all fins had the adult complement of rays and spines. A statistical model: Y=2.4968e⁠0.0786x, where Y is mean L⁠T (mm) and X represents dph, explained 96.45% of variation in growth (P<0.001, R⁠2=0.9645). The hatching rate, yolk-sac volume and oil globule volume of newly hatched larvae were significantly (P<0.05) decreased when the incubation temperature increased. Only 2–6% of embryos hatched at 33°C, while the hatching rate was 63±6% at 27°C. Larvae reared in aeration rate of 300mLmin⁠−1 attained the highest survival rate at 70.00±7.20%, but remained significantly (P<0.05) lower in cannibalism: 24.44±4.16% compared with 66.67±5.44% in 20mLmin⁠−1. These results indicate that the optimal incubation temperature recommended is approximately at 27°C, and aeration at 300mLmin ⁠−1 could enhance larval survival by reducing cannibalism.
Conference Paper
Yellow tang, Zebrasoma flavescens, are one of the most heavily traded marine aquarium fish species, with nearly 400,000 individuals collected annually from Hawaii's reefs. Despite recent success culturing this species, significant challenges in the rearing processes remain to be overcome before commercialization is feasible. This study compared two feeding regimens, an original diet treatment, which was initially used to successfully culture yellow tang, and a revised diet, which differed in the timing of the introduction of feed items and weaning periods. Both diet regimens consisted of Parvocalanus crassirostris nauplii, enriched Brachionus rotundiformis rotifers, and Artemia nauplii, followed by a transition to dry and frozen feed items. The revised feeding regimen aimed to considerably reduce the amount of copepods and rotifers needed in the rearing process. Eggs were stocked at 40/L into replicate (n = 3) 200-L tanks for the feeding regimen trial. A follow-up rearing study, in which eggs were stocked at 19/L in a single 1000-L tank, tested the revised feeding method at pilot scale. Fish reared on the revised feeding regimen were observed to grow faster in body length and body depth after 2 wk in culture and transitioned more quickly to juveniles as 41% had completed their transition to juvenile coloration by 70 d after hatch. None of the fish reared under the original feeding regimen attained full juvenile coloration during the study period. Survival was not significantly different between treatments and was 0.13% ± 0.13 and 0.29% ± 0.17 in the original and revised feeding regimens, respectively. In the pilot-scale study, growth was comparable to that of both treatments in the 200-L scale trial, but survival was much better at 1.9%. This study successfully shortened the copepod and rotifer feeding periods for yellow tang, while not jeopardizing growth or survival. This outcome enhances the commercialization potential for this and likely other Acanthuridae species.
In the present study, effect of various levels light on growth performances and skin colour enhancement of marine smoke angelfish Apolemichthys xanthurus was investigated. The fishes were reared in tanks with three different levels (250 -500, 750 - 1000, and 1500 - 2000 lux) and control (without additional light) for 120 days and the growth, survival and carotenoid content were investigated. The results of the growth performances studies suggested that the fishes reared under low light level (250-500 lux) exhibited higher weight gain (73.90±0.06), specific growth rate (0.616±0.01), and survival rate (90%) and feed conversion ratio (1.00±0.01). The colour enhancement studies suggested that the carotenoid content of the fishes reared under low, medium, high and control was about 6.84±0.03, 6.19±0.04, 5.48±0.06 and 3.57±0.04 mg g⁻¹ respectively. Thus, the result obtained from the present study indicates that the low light level (250-500 lux) was more suitable for better growth and skin colour enhancement of Apolemichthys xanthurus which could be recommended for the successive production of this high priced species. © Published by Central Fisheries Research Institute (CFRI) Trabzon, Turkey in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan.
The aim of this review was to examine practices in academic research focusing on production of larvae of European marine fish species. The literature spanned peer-reviewed articles over the years 1977–2014 for the main commercially produced marine species: Atlantic cod, halibut, sea bream, sea bass and turbot. Search hits were categorized into the main themes basic biology, natural habitat studies and aquaculture, and the latter theme further subdivided into nutrition, health, reproduction and production factor studies. In total, 74 of the production factor studies were thoroughly examined in terms of overall research structure, study designs, methods, analyses and reporting practices. A picture of a fragmented whole with many isolated contributors and limited cooperation appeared, and despite the multivariate nature and high complexity of the area, isolated and low replicated studies focusing on one variable at the time dominated. Randomization and blinding procedures were rarely accounted for, and a need to standardize practical conduct of research in terms of physical infrastructure, biological material used, control of tank environment, sampling, tank tending and response measurements appeared. Issues of statistical analysis were also apparent, spanning the choice of main techniques and follow-up contrast procedures and Pseudoreplication. Additionally, the reporting of designs, analyses and results was often incomplete. Consequences of the different issues are discussed, and possible remedies proposed. The findings are in accordance with conclusions from contemporary studies addressing scientific quality and methodological issues at other areas of research.
The Pacific blue tang, Paracanthurus hepatus, is consistently among the top 20 marine ornamental species imported into the USA, with all specimens presently sourced from wild stocks. Captive culture of this species through metamorphosis has not been previously documented and fundamental information regarding reproduction, larval culture, and production techniques is scarce. This study aimed to elucidate methods that would advance our understanding and success with captive propagation of this species. A total of 50,000 eggs were collected from a single broodstock population and stocked in a 1000-L tank. Beginning at 3d posthatch (DPH), larvae were fed three times daily a diet comprised exclusively of copepod nauplii. At 12 DPH, enriched rotifers were first fed followed by powdered feed (20 DPH) and first instar Artemia (21 DPH). Large mortality events were observed at 7 and 20 DPH, corresponding with starvation and flexion, respectively. By 41 DPH, the majority of the remaining larvae began associating with the bottom of the culture tank. On Day 50, the first signs of blue pigmentation marked the beginning of metamorphosis. A total of 27 juvenile blue tangs were cultured during this trial. This effort represents the first successful culture of this species in captivity.
The global trade of aquatic organisms for home and public aquariums, along with associated equipment and accessories, has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Aquaculture of marine ornamental species, still in its infancy, is recognized as a viable alternative to wild collection as it can supplement or replace the supply of wild caught specimens and potentially help recover natural populations through restocking. This book collects into a single work the most up-to-date information currently available on the aquaculture of marine ornamental species. It includes the contributions of more than 50 leading scientists and experts on different topics relevant for the aquaculture of the most emblematic groups of organisms traded for reef aquariums. From clownfish, to angelfish, tangs and seahorses, as well as corals, anemones, shrimps, giant clams and several other reef organisms, all issues related with the husbandry, breeding, and trade are addressed, with explanatory schemes and illustrations being used to help in understanding the most complex topics addressed. Marine Ornamental Species Aquaculture is a key reference for scientists and academics in research institutes and universities, public and private aquaria, as well as for hobbyists. Entrepreneurs will also find this book an important resource, as the culture of marine ornamental species is analyzed from a business oriented perspective, highlighting the risks and opportunities of commercial scale aquaculture of marine ornamentals.