OFI disputes the negative impressions of the global aquarium fish industry made by Associated press

OFI disputes the negative impressions made of the global aquarium fish industry by Associated Press’s article on ‘Sparkling Fish, Murky Methods’. The publication painted an inaccurate status of the current global marine aquarium fish trade which damages the reputation of our industry with a far-reaching impact across the international aquarium trade.

OFI president Shane Willis said that “The use of cyanide in aquarium fishery is largely a thing of the past and illegal in most source countries. We are against this illegal practice, from both a sustainability and ethical viewpoint, it has no place in the modern aquarium industry”. In addition to that, OFI members are required to abide to the OFI Charter which condemns the use of cyanide or other poisons for capturing. OFI together with its members, continues to support the education and training of breeders, farmers, and collectors to further improve appropriate handling, animal health and welfare protocols. Considerable research efforts have also been driven by the industry to develop an accurate and sensitive test protocol for detecting cyanide caught fish of which Dr Rhyne is a leader which was not mentioned in the Associated Press article.

The technology behind captive breeding of marine ornamentals has gained significant advancement over recent years with aquacultured fish becoming increasingly available and popular in the hobby. However, there are still a significant proportion of marine species that cannot be captively bred and sustainable collection of marine aquarium fish is still an important part of the trade and provides sustainable livelihoods to many thousands of people in some of the poorest communities across the Asia-Pacific region. OFI supports the notion behind captive breeding and sustainable collection of marine ornamentals as sources of fish for the industry with respect for natural populations, the environment and the contribution made to socio-economic benefits for all communities around the world.

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