Commercial production of reef corals

Stanley Brown fishxing at
Sun Aug 20 20:38:24 EDT 2000

Dear David,

Farmed corals are very feasible and (at least in the US) there seems to be
a growing demand for them.  They are available from mariculture  operations
as well as small scale (and a few large) inland closed systems which use
artificial sea water and lighting.  Unfortunately,  there are some who are
simply taking larger collected colonies and breaking them up into many
smaller fragments and offering them as propagated specimens.  Larger
collected colonies seem to have a poor survival rate and fragmenting newly
arrived specimens at least offers a chance of survival, although I believe
they should not be offered as propgated or captive grown corals.    Captive
growth colonies can get quite large and taking cuttings (literally pruning
the colony)  becomes a necessity to insure the health and survival of the
colony.  The larger colonies which need routine pruning become excellent
"mother" colonies.

I am not aware of any commercial source for corals propagated sexually.  It
would seem an ideal way to produce large numbers of specimens, however,
grow out time required to reach a marketable size could be an economical

Introduction of non endemic species is an issue.  To ban the culturing of
non endemic would me that local markets (retail) would also need to be
banned.  I suspect that non endemic species are already available in local
consumer markets, not to mention shipments from mailorder/Internet sources
(and there are many).

I believe that there is a larger market for soft corals and the larger
polyp hard coral species.  The small polyp stony corals (SPS) represents a
smaller market.  Species which can live in lower light environments would
have a larger market than those requiring intense lighting.  Finally, for
any and all species, color, color, color!  The more colorful varieties
almost always command a higher price.  Size also has a direct impact on
pricing,  but I believe this is offset by the increased shipping costs.  I


Stanley Brown
The Breeder's Registry
Sacramento, California

> In a message dated 8/19/00 12:27:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> dudu.zakai at writes:
> << Subj:     Commercial production of reef corals
>  Date:  8/19/00 12:27:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time
>  From:  dudu.zakai at (David Zakai)
>  Sender:    owner-coral-list at
>  To:    coral-list at, avi at (Avi
> Perevelotski), shalmonb at (B Shalmon), yosiloya at
> (Yossi Loya), moghrabi_sam at (Salim Al-Moghrabi),
> moghrabi at (Salim), dubinz at (Prof. Zvy Dubinsky),
> eliezer.frankenberg at (Eliezer Frankenberg),
> dubinsk at (Dubinski Zvy), amatzia at (Amatzia Genin),
> alon at (Alon Tal)
>  CC:    simon.nemtzov at (Simon Nemtzov)
>  Dear All,
>  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. Iâ??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)?
>  2. The northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba (Northern Red Sea) is the most
>  northern distribution for reef corals. Together with that, the
>  geomorphologic structure of partly separated water body, created, during
>  evolutionary time, a unique populations of fauna, and high rates of
>  endemic species, comparing with other tropical coral reef around the
>  world. Is it will be wise to allow growth of corals on aquacultur
>  facilities in land, of local species as well as exotic ones to import,
>  and local markets? And by that, maybe causing contamination of the
>  unique local and imported ecosystems with exotic corals (assuming that
>  coral or coral larvae will get in to the near by reefs at country of
>  arrival)?
>  3. If the answer to question 2, is to allow such growth of corals, which
>  species will be preferable?
>  Any other advice will be most appreciated.
>  Regards,
>  David Zakai
>  Red Sea Marine Biologist
>  Israel Nature & Parks Authority
>  P.O.Box 667, Eilat, Israel
>  AND
>  The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science
>  of Eilat, P.O.Box 469, Eilat, Israel
>  Tel +972-7-637-3988
>  Fax +972-7-637-5047
>  Lab: +972-7-636-0166
>  Mobile + 972-3-776-2308 >>
>   ------------------------------------------------------------------------

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