We ensure that we are being both sustainably and environmentally responsible by working closely with our suppliers. We also firmly believe that sustainability is an issue that should be shared and developed within the community - be it through education in schools or general media, so we hope this page can offer some helpful information.
In many different areas local resources such as rivers, lakes and coral reefs provide a vital livelihood for communities and therefore hundreds - if not thousands - of fishermen and their families. Welfare and employment provision in such areas is at a premium and therefore maintenance and protection of the local resources is vital to ensure a continuation of human population and sustainability in these areas.
This approach doesn’t only benefit the fishermen and their families but also the countries who export the livestock: they gain technologically, financially and also through research. The benefits also ‘trickle down’ to other tertiary businesses.
As well as gaining more knowledge about the various species they have in their aquariums, aquarists use that knowledge to ensure that they continue to construct a meaningful and ethical standpoint towards the conservation of ecosystems and habits of the fish they catch.
Fish welfare is of supreme importance to us and therefore a method of capture that uses very small nets is employed, which is targeted with virtually no by-catch. It is also important to note that fish in aquariums will live longer than they can in the wild and that, by buying a fish for your aquarium, can cause a ripple effect in the local economy where they were sourced. No wild-caught species has ever been made extinct from collection alone.
In one year, a total of 70 tonnes of fish can be caught from the ocean for the ornamental aquatic industry, which may sound like a lot, but in the same year, the food industry caught a staggering 80.2 million tonnes - with between 7 to 33 million tonnes of this being bycatch! This bycatch is discarded dead or dying, which can include at least 15 million seahorses (3 million of which are dried for medicine.) More and more marine fish are being captive bred but their life cycles are complex which are difficult to reproduce in hatcheries but hopefully this market will increase in size over time.
Fish Collectors in Peru
Fish Collectors in Peru
Fish Collectors in Bali
Project Piaba Overview
Project PIABA Save a Tree
Therefore the ornamental aquatic trade has many benefits, to list a few:
the habitat is conserved because the local community takes greater care of the lakes, rivers and reefs since it is their livelihood
the infrastructure of the country of origin improves, like roads, utilities and sometimes even airports to transport the fish
taxes and foreign exchanges bring profits to the country of origin from the selling of fish
suppliers share knowledge and technology with the communities to help improve their work
breeders, hobbyists and retailers breed threatened and endangered species and fund conservational efforts
aquarium owners become more knowledgeable about the rivers, reefs and rainforests where their fish come from and become empathetic towards their conservation
The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) has produced an in-depth report with case studies on this topic, which you can view here. Learn more about our work with the LINI Foundation and our artificial reef to help restore fish and coral habitats in Bali here. Below you can watch some videos related to sustainability and how some of our suppliers operate.