Several species of marine fish have been bred in captivity for many years, the most popular being the clownfish. However even these species are not yet bred in quantities large enough to meet the demand. It is the goal of the MBI to get more people involved in captive breeding and to find ways to raise new species in captivity so they don't need to be collected from the wild.
Coral reefs around the world are being threatened by many factors including climate change, overfishing, pollution and various other problems. There could come a time in the not too distant future when we will no longer be able to import many of the fish and other organisms from world's reefs that we do today. "Learning to breed these fish in captivity on a regular basis is one way to limit the impact that the hobby has on the environment."
"This program started out being a local project but we are already attracting interest from around the country. With more people getting involved every day our knowledge keeps increasing."
Mr. Sweet feels that if the program continues to grow, breeders from around the country will be able to work together to supply their local aquarium stores with locally bred livestock that is healthier than most wild caught specimens. Captive bred marine animals aren't exposed to disease or parasites as they are in the wild, nor are they subject to the stress of potentially many days in transport. This all leads to a much higher survival rate, often 100%.
"Not only will this be good for the environment and the fish themselves, it will be good for local economies as well. Money that typically would pass to other states or out of the country instead stays within the breeder's local community"
To add to the initiative MASM will be hosting a Breeder's Workshop on March 13, 2010 at Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Two of the leading experts in the field of breeding marine ornamentals, Matthew Wittenrich, author of "The Complete Illustrated Breeder's Guide to Marine Fishes" and Matthew Pedersen, Co-Founder of MOFIB, and IMAC and MASNA 2009 Hobbyist of the Year, will be giving presentations and speaking to individuals that are interested in getting involved. More information about the workshop can be found at www.MASM.org
The MarineLife Aquarium Society of Michigan (MASM) is a non-profit organization of marine hobbyists dedicated to promoting and continuing interest in the maintenance, study and propagation of marine life within the home aquaria, as well as raising awareness of the growing problems in the world's oceans. MASM is a member of the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America.
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About MASM: The MarineLife Aquarium Society of Michigan (MASM) is a non-profit organization of marine hobbyists dedicated to promoting and continuing interest in the maintenance, study and propagation of marine life within the home aquaria, as well as raising awareness of the growing problems in the world's oceans. MASM is a member of the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America.