David Zakai's questions about coral farming

leroy at garf.org leroy at garf.org
Wed Sep 13 12:02:18 EDT 2000

>My name is David Zakai and I work for Israel Nature & Parks Protection
>Authority. I need your kind advises concerning the issue of commercial
>production of live reef corals for saltwater aquariums industry:
>1. I?m familiar with the demand of corals for saltwater aquariums, but
>is growth of corals on aquacultur bases is solving the problem of
>harvesting from nature? Is it really can be a substitute for a very
>low-price corals from South East Asia, available on the "world markets"
>today (as its legal by CITES)?

My name is LeRoy Headlee and we teach coral farming here at GARF and 
we are certain that captive raised corals can and do compete with 
wild collected corals. We are having the sixth annual Coral Farming 
Seminar this October in, of all places, the totally land locked state 
of Idaho. We have pre-registered 112 people and that will beat last 
years attendance by over 25 attendees. Most of these people either 
already farm corals or they are in the planning stages.

Very low priced adult corals are not as hardy as domesticated corals, 
we have funded a research project to learn the best way to accomplish 
much faster the changes that happen to the corals symbiotic colonies 
as they are domesticated. After the coral strains have been in 
captivity for several semesters they become able to tolerate high 
temperatures that often kill the same strain when it is freshly 

We also teach people from around the world to make their own live 
rock from white cement. We have started two ocean based rock farms. 
One is in Fiji. This source of sand molded rock can and does compete 
with wild rock. People are so interested in having a Zero Impact reef 
that they are willing to purchase this rock for $3.00 a pound dry. 
Israel will be a great place to operate an coral farm and  the 
research that can be done in land locked farms is both safe and 

LeRoy Headlee
Director of Research
Geothermal Aquaculture
Research Foundation

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