It is no secret that the oceans diversity is seriously threatened by climate change, industrial fishing, pollution and many other man-made factors. In the Pacific alone several areas of reef have completely disappeared, taking with them a wide range of species, from corals, sponges and clams to turtles, rays and fish.
By breeding species of fish and invertebrates for the aquarium trade, we significantly reduce pressure on the reefs. Our animals are cultured in aquariums for aquariums and every species we introduce to the market is a success in lowering the sales of wild caught animals. Many people talk about this – we ARE doing it in our various hatcheries.
Our ideal is a sustainable future, where we take charge of our degrading environment and make the most of our changing climatic situation. A starting point for us is working with the species we have grown, in an effort towards the conservation and repopulation of reefs in Palau and potentially around the Pacific.
Some species we are working on are the two varieties of Rabbitfish (Siganus fuscecens and Siganus lineatus). They are a very popular catch amongst Palauan people for their flavour and their perfect size –one fish will make one meal for an adult. Although Rabbitfish are still found in Palau waters, their population has steadily declined in the past years. We routinely culture high numbers of these species, later releasing them into the local waterways for restocking purposes.
The Bumphead Parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) is our most exciting conservation project to date. Currently we are at the early stage of coordinating work with different NGOs and Fisheries Departments to determine the feasibility of our goal. We want to raise Bumphead Parrotfish at a commercial scale for restocking and food security purposes.