Harvesting Fish for Aquariums: How Many Is Too Many?

THU, JUN 16, 2016 (1:01:04)

Each year, millions of fish are collected from reefs to place on exhibit in homes and public aquariums. Only recently have New England Aquarium staff figured out a way to collect data on the numbers and species of fish involved in the marine wildlife trade. The Aquarium's Dr. Michael Tlusty and Dr. Andrew Rhyne speak to the diversity of this marine trade and how the volume of the trade can be calculated. Dr. Tlusty and Dr. Rhyne also discuss how the data can better inform the management of each marine species, and why these fisheries are important to small reef-side economies. Additionally, they describe the role of aquaculture as an aid to this trade and how the Aquarium is leading the effort to use public aquariums as a new source of fish for exhibits.

(Photo: Flickr/only_point_five, image cropped)

+ BIO: Michael Tlusty

Michael Tlusty is the New England Aquarium's Director of Research. His research interests include Aquaculture, and the integration of new technological advanced into current production scenarios, analysis of disease looking at changes in host susceptibility as a result of changes in the environment, the production of fish for the pet trade, and leveraging large companies to improve the ecological footprint of seafood production.

His research projects have included studying the influence of increased temperature on the onset of shell disease in American lobsters; rearing marine ornamental fish with extended larval periods; ecological and economic sustainability of freshwater ornamental fisheries, and advisory services to improve environmental friendliness of aquacultured produced seafood products.

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