A brief background on Philippine Reefs
The Philippines is an archipelago comprised of more than 7,000 islands. Its tropical climate combined with 27,000 kilometers of coastlines have given it one of the world's most beautiful coral reefs. This underwater paradise has a total area of 27,340 square miles, and houses over 400 species of corals, at least 5,000 species of shells and more than 2,000 species of fishes. Many of these species are endemic to the Philippines.
History of Philippine marine live tropical fish (LTF) industry:
Hundreds of thousands of fisher folks have lived along the Philippine coastlines for generations, and are dependent upon the sea as their sole source of livelihood through fishing. There are different kinds of fishing activities, and the collection of live marine tropical aquarium fishes is one of them. This gave rise to the marine live tropical fish (LTF) industry, which engages in the capture and collection of tropical aquarium fishes
for export to the United States, Canada, Europe, Middle East and around Asia. Currently this industry comprises of more than 30 exporters, and it has been existing for more than 35 years. It is estimated that the bulk of the commercially marketed marine fishes are supplied by this important industry. The collection of reef fishes is accomplished by organized fishermen who have been trained to use the prescribed fine meshed barrier nets provided by the Philippine Tropical Fish Exporters Association (PTFEA) and concerned NGOs.
Marine Ornamental Fish Trade
This is an international trade of marine ornamental fishes, (including invertebrates and crustaceans), from source countries located in tropical areas of Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans to buyer countries around the world. The marine ornamental fish trade began in the 1930s in Sri Lanka, spread to Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1950s, and expanded to a multi-million dollar industry in the 1970s with fisheries established throughout the other tropical countries. Currently, 45 countries supply global markets an estimated 14-30 million fish annually, with an import value of US$28-44 million. The largest suppliers are Indonesia and the Philippines, followed by Brazil, Maldives, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Hawaii. In the tropical Western Atlantic, 16 countries have export fisheries, including the U.S. (Florida and Puerto Rico). The U.S. is the world's largest buyer, followed by the European Union and Japan. The global trade consists of over 1400 species of reef fishes, of which only about 25 are captive bred on a commercial scale. Damselfish, anemonefish, and angelfish constitute over 50% of the global volume; butterflyfish, wrasses, blennies, gobies, triggerfish, filefish, hawkfishes, groupers and basselets account for 31% of the trade, and the remaining 16% is represented by 33 families.
GLOBEFISH - Analysis and information on world fish trade
International Trade in Marine Ornamental Fish
The importance of the marine ornamental reef fish trade in the wider Caribbean
culture of marine fish:
Culturing marine ornamentals is a lucrative and environmentally sound alternative to harvesting them from their reef habitat. Unfortunately, the practice still greatly lags the farming of freshwater tropicals because of the biological and economic constraints associated with culturing most species.
Many species have not been cultured because of their complex reproductive biology; others can only be raised a few individuals at a time; and for those that can be raised in large numbers, production is often not cost-effective compared to their wild-caught counter-parts.
As of 2017, 330 of over 2,250 traded marine aquarium fishes species have been cultured. Of those about 65 species (4%) have been captive-bred commercially and about 30 of these are in production at any one time; mostly clownfishes, dottybacks and sea horses and a limited number of goby, blenny, cardinalfish and angelfish species. The remaining 260 marine aquarium species have been cultured for experimental purposes only (see captive-bred species list for details).
Surface Based Clean Air Supplier (SuBCAS)
SuBCAS is an acronym named by Philippine Ornamental Fish Exporters Association (POFEA) which stands for Surface Based Clean Air Supplier. It is a machine that is specifically designed and manufactured to safely provide clean air to a diver. It comprises of seven (7) elements as follows:
. Engine (diesel or gasoline) - Power supply
. Compressed Air Unit - Supplies the compressed air
. Reserve Air Tank - Stores the Compress air
. Pressure Release Valve - Controls the pressure of compressed air
. Clean Air Filter - Cleans the compress air that goes through the diver.
. Heavy Duty Air Hose - transports the air to the diver
. Second Stage Regulator - breathing apparatus for the diver
Tropical marine ornamental fish
Marine Ornamental Fish are fishes that live in marine (salt water) environment, in tropical climates (22C to 28C), most of them are not edible, and they serve mostly as pets or ornamental purpose. Similarly our industry also deals with Marine Ornamental Molluscs and Crustaceans. These animals live in coral reef areas.
Link to list of common species
coral reef information links
Wikipedia article on Corals
What are corals?
Corals and coral reefs
Coral Triangle information links
Wikipedia article on Coral Triangle
Philippines is at the center of the Coral Triangle
Corals Triangle Facts
Source: Collecting vs Breeding