Alasdair M. Weddell
An essay submitted to the Institute of Fisheries Management for the
Annual Study Course 2003, Nottingham
Ornamental Fish Production
Alasdair M. Weddell
Institute of Fisheries Management Annual Study Course 2003, Nottingham ORNAMENTAL FISH PRODUCTION Alasdair M. Weddell May, 2004 Fish keeping is becoming an increasingly popular pastime across the western world, whether it is ornamental koi and goldfish in the garden pond, or exotic tropical, coldwater or marine fishes in a living room aquarium. In the United Kingdom, the growing population of ornamental fish is estimated to be over 144 million – more than double the human population (OATA, 2003). Keeping marine ornamental fish is the latest in the trend of fish keeping and consequently still relatively small, nevertheless, the hobby is expanding rapidly (Mills, 2001). The vast majority of exotic marine ornamental fish are imported into the United Kingdom via a strictly and responsibly regulated network of wholesalers that makes up to marine ornamental trade industry. It is believed that in the United Kingdom 300,000 ornamental fish are imported annually, costing £400,000 per tonne at import (OATA, 2003). Worldwide, harvesting of marine ornamental fish accounts for only a small fraction of the sea-fish catch. The total number of marine ornamental fish imports is estimated to be 10 million, weighing between 70 – 100 tonnes. This is a mere drop in the ocean when compared to the 100 million tonnes of fish that are caught for human consumption and the 17 million tonnes that are caught and tossed back into the ocean as waste (OATA, 2003). To the marine ornamental fish enthusiast, the ecological and educational benefits of fish keeping are clear: Responsibly regulated importing and exporting of environmentally sound ornamental fish help to raise the profile and understanding of marine life and the marine environment in general. Moe (1993)...