June 26 2016
Montfort (Netherlands): There is no doubt that movies such as “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” increase the interest in keeping ornamental fish and become the inspiration for moving ‘new comers’ to the hobby. However, it is important when selecting any pet, including fish, that you do your homework to find out what equipment and care is needed for the pet. While the internet can be a reliable source of information Ornamental Fish International (OFI) would also encourage people to visit and speak with specialist retailers to get the right information before making any purchase decisions.
There are thousands of different types of fish, with the majority of fish kept in the hobby coming from freshwater environments. Marine species are also kept by hobbyists as illustrated in the movies “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory”. It is likely that the “Finding Dory” movie will encourage many people to try keeping marine fish. While as an industry we would encourage this, we also want to caution people about this particularly if it is their first aquarium and ensure they do their research first. It should also be noted that different species require different levels of care, and not all systems can house all species of fish. Keeping marine aquariums is generally considered more complicated than freshwater aquariums and generally not recommended for a first aquarium. However, they are successful if the right equipment is used and sound advice given by a good retailer – do plenty of homework and make sure you understand what is required before setting up your marine aquarium! Responsible pet ownership is crucial for a sustainable industry and hobby and you should seriously think about your ability to provide the correct environment and care for any fish that you may purchase.
A responsible industry should also consider the source of marine fish as well. While there is a growing number of marine species that are being farmed commercially throughout the world, many species such as regal tangs (Dory’species) are still collected from the wild. Responsible industry operators should ensure the marine fish they deal with have been sourced through sustainable wild harvesting methods, OFI does not endorse the use of cyanide for collecting fish which is an illegal practice in most countries where marine fish are collected. There have been many articles in the press recently indicating that this illegal practice is used for the collection of the majority of ornamental fish throughout the world. This is simply not true and is not supported by current data. We would also note that sustainably collected marine fish are an invaluable source of income for artisanal fisherman throughout many of the poorest countries in the world. This small but highly valuable fishery provides livelihoods for these communities and helps to reduce impacts of overfishing of food fish species on reefs.