Sustainable Aquarium Project
In 2016 The Deep played host to a pilot project in conjunction with Bangor University to assess the success for the collection of reef fish larvae to transport for aquaculture at the CAMS research facility for rearing trials without detriment to the viable embryos.
Little to no research into the culture of coral reef fish species is currently being carried out in Europe, and at present there are a number of obvious hurdles to overcome to promote the growth and survival rates in larval fish through the delicate stage of metamorphosis. This project represented an opportunity for a collaborative effort between both research scientists and the aquarium industry to expand the boundaries of coral reef fish research and commercial production in the UK and Europe. Together, it is hoped that this work will define new culture protocols for a variety of species by identifying novel larval diets and developing systems that enhance larval survival and development. Each species will have their own specific set of biological and physical requirements that must be identified to successfully culture them.
UK public aquariums are continually involved with conservation and research projects around the globe and have recognised the current concerns over the nature of the international trade in coral reef fish. They are at the forefront of efforts to improve the long-term viability of their collections, and ultimately the wider aquarium trade, through the advancement of culture technology and the increase in knowledge of the reproductive biology and larval rearing requirement of key species.
Aquariums, such as The Deep, are keen to contribute towards the development and implementation of practices whereby fish entering the aquarium industry are sourced in a traceable, sustainable and ethical manner, thereby preserving natural ecosystems and endangered species, by reducing the reliance on often overexploited and fragile wild stocks.
This collaborative project allows The Deep to take a proactive role in the conservation of wild fish stocks and other natural marine resources, the advancement of animal husbandry techniques and the sustainability of the marine aquarium trade.
The Deep, Hull
- These trials have led to first successful rearing of both Yellow tangs and Regal tangs.
- At present, the availability and diversity of sustainably sourced and aqua-cultured animals is minimal.
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