It’s worth remembering that most tropical and coldwater fish kept in UK homes are captive reared (aquacultured). But the marine side of the hobby is somewhat different. It’s estimated more than 90% of ornamental marine fish and invertebrates (like coral) and between five and 10% of freshwater fish are wild caught for aquarium keepers to enjoy in their homes.
Providing live fish and invertebrates to our industry enables fishings communities to earn a living from the natural resources on their doorstep, such as their local coral reefs, rainforest rivers and rift valley lakes. These are often in some of the most remote countries in the world which do not enjoy the same societal safety nets we have in the West. These communities are directly dependent on these habitats remaining healthy to continue this livelihoods, so habitats can actually be protected because communities rely on them.
We believe these important benefits in the country of origin are often missed in the debate about wild caught fish. People also lie at the heart of this issue. We need to ask ourselves what other livelihoods are open to them to feed their families if they cannot catch the species on their doorstep – and keep them alive to supply to our industry. And are those alternatives really ‘better’ – for them and the environment?
We wanted to examine the evidence for the positive benefits of wild caught fish so we commissioned the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology to review available scientific literature. Using this as a springboard, we then wrote our own summary of the global trade in wild caught fish and the benefits it can bring, particularly to the countries where the fish are taken.
Read our report
Case study videos
Watch a number of case study videos from across the world which show the importance of the industry to the people involved in catching the fish.
More information from around the world
This is a great story from National Geographic magazine that shows what can be achieved when communities work together to catch wild discus in Brazil. It is examining the work of Project Piaba which is a non-profit organisation supporting the Brazilian fishermen who catch cardinal tetra and discus fish and maintain vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest in the process.