Coral reef organisms & the aquarium trade
James C. Hendee
hendee at aoml.noaa.gov
Tue Mar 5 08:25:11 EST 1996
On Mon, 4 Mar 1996, JENNIFER WHEELER wrote:
[ first and last parts deleted... ]
> How feasible Is mariculture to produce organisms for export?
> What are the implications (biological and financial) of the above
> approaches as compared to unregulated harvest?
To my mind, this is the best long-range solution, but with an initial high
price tag. As a former mariculturist of marine fishes, invertebrates and
plants (macro and micro), I can testify that it is possible to raise many
(but not all) of the species of value to the aquarium trade at this time.
If a developing nation wants to adopt this strategy, it will have to:
a) Be prepared to invest "substantial" (i.e., hundreds of
thousands to a million dollars) into basic research into the life cycle
and disease etiology of new species it wants to culture and export;
b) Be prepared both financially and emotionally (!) to lose all of
its cultured stocks overnight to disease, human error or natural
catastrophes (e.g., storms), then start over again;
c) Hire the best and most experienced mariculturists it can.
There are some basic precepts of mariculture that just can not be
violated, and I have seen untrained culturists re-invent a tool or
approach that doesn't work, and result in the demise of the operation.
It's the same old adage--"You get what you pay for." You can hire
"bargain" personnel, only to be wiped out later because of a rudimentary
Hope this helps.
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