The ornamental fish trade and fish conservation



The global trade in ornamental fish and associated aquarium and pond accessories is in excess of U.S. $7 × 109 each year. Although the majority of freshwater fish involved in the trade are from captive-bred sources, significant numbers are still removed from the wild. In addition, almost all of the marine fish in the trade are wild-caught. Whilst habitat destruction, pollution and overfishing for food are the main threats facing fish populations in the wild, the ornamental fish trade may have adverse effects as a result of the introduction of nonnative organisms, and by the direct depletion of wild stocks. The ornamental fish trade is ideally placed to raise public awareness of, and actively support, fish conservation efforts, and must maintain a close liaison with legislative-forming organizations seeking to impose further trade restrictions.