The aim of the Big Fish Campaign is to raise awareness about the problem of aquarium fish that grow larger than the vast majority of home aquaria can accommodate, and to promote responsible buying and selling of these larger species.
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About: Fish, Tanks and Ponds (aka - Andy Rapson)
I've been interested in fish for about fifty years and I have kept many different species in that time. I written many articles about fish keeping for several fish keeping publications and websites. I have worked in the fish trade running my own fish shop and I am a Fishbase collaborator. I'm mainly interested in fish husbandry, fish health, native marines and aquatic photography. More
Saved from extinction
Red tailed black sharks are thought to be extinct or on the verge of extinction in the wild due to loss of habitat. This is another species saved by fish keepers. Without the ornamental fish trade this species will be lost forever.
Red-tailed black shark
Many species of cichlids became threatened, endangered and even became extinct in the wild after Nile perch were introduced in to Lake Victoria for a food item. Some of these cichlids now only exist in captivity due to the efforts of a few dedicated hobbyists.
Currently, approximately 90% of freshwater fish traded in the hobbyist industry are bred in captivity (Dawes, 1998) and have no impact on wild stocks of fish.
The total ornamental fish industry (including dry goods) is valued at approximately US$15 billion (Bartley, 2000) employing many thousands of people world wide.
Aquaculture provides a scenario in which species can be completely cultured in captivity. This is the basis for species survival programs. There are currently 28 species of Haplochromine cichlids that are being captively managed through the Species Survival Program of the American Zoological Association (AZA, 1996).
Although much of the cichlid effort is of low intensity, it nonetheless represents basic aquacultural production.
The golden arowana, bala shark, pygmy loach (Botia sidthimunki), and tiger barb (Puntius tetrazona) are all species that have been conserved via aquacultural production (Ng and Tan, 1997).
In addition to the sale of fish to hobbyists, fish are also being reintroduced to habitats in which they have been eliminated. Similar cases include barbs from Sri Lanka (Barbus bandula, B. cumingi, B. nigrofasciatus and B. titteya, Dawes, 2001),
Aquaculture 205 (2002) 203-219
By Michael Tlusty
Because of the great profitability of this industry, there is a great incentive to identify sustainable practices. The Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) works to offer the hobbyist with a product that is certified as environmentally sound and sustainable. Additionally, the International Marinelife Alliance (IMA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and MAC are working with the Hong Kong Chamber of Seafood Merchants to develop standards for the live fish trade. The Hong Kong Seafood Merchants represent ninety percent of the buyers of live reef food fish in Hong Kong and have an extensive impact on collection practices.
Live fish trade - Wikipedia