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Our Goal

To empower sustainable coral reef aquarium fisheries that support biodiversity conservation, healthy coral reefs, and the livelihoods of fishers, traders, and others who depend on them across the global value chain.

Photo by Aysenur

Marine Aquariums Are Valuable to People and the Planet

Marine aquariums connect youth and families to nature and global ocean habitats.  They teach hands-on lessons in biology, chemistry,  and environmental science, and can impart values like compassion and environmental responsibility.  Beyond home aquarists and fans of public aquariums, marine aquariums also provide for the livelihoods and food security of fishers and traders, from reef to retail.
A fisher stuns fish with diluted cyanide for ease of capture. Photo by J. Corvine/NOAA

Aquarium Fish Face Threats When Overfished from Coral Reefs

~22 million fish spanning ~2,000 species are collected from coral reefs around the world annually for the marine aquarium trade, sourced from 45 countries.  In many of these source locales, there is little known about the population status of each of these species, or whether or not their fisheries are sustaining.  Fisheries governance varies widely across the globe and is inadequate or non-existent in some places.  Despite high profit margins enjoyed by traders closer to the consumer end of the value chain, fishers in some remote villages earn just pennies per fish, offering little incentive to handle, care for, and package them properly.  Instead, fishers are incentivized to catch more fish to cover losses and provide for their families.  This is compounded by destructive fishing techniques used in some places, like cyanide, which stuns fish rendering them easy to catch, poisoning them and surrounding reef habitats in the process.  These are the challenges that the Coral Reef Aquarium Fisheries Campaign set out to understand and reform.

The Campaign Takes 3 Approaches Toward Its Goal

Marine Aquarium Fisheries Policy

Upgrade The Value Chain

Aquaculture Research & Development