Public aquaria consist in institutions that mostly include aquatic animals. The number of public aquaria increase each year. Since 1990, more than 100 have been opened. This expansion reflects the public enthusiasm, which is increasingly sensitive to conservation and sustainability.
As public aquaria develop, the need of the correct politics with the animal welfare arises. The right animals and technics can be used as a channel to reach the population by promoting sustainable attitudes and behavior.
The educational opportunities of these institutions can inspire people to be more environmentally friendly and know the real state of our aquatic environment. This potential reaches more than 150 million visitors each year, highlighting the importance of sustainable credentials.
The Friend of the Sea criteria for sustainable aquaria require:
Ornamental Fish Trade
The ornamental fish trade refers to tropical marine species kept in home and public aquaria. It is estimated that more than 2 billion live ornamental fishes are moved annually worldwide, including fish, corals, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants and live rock.
If managed sustainably, this trade can support jobs in predominantly rural, low-income coastal communities, providing strong economic incentives for coral reef conservation in regions where other options for generating revenue are limited.
However, the trade of ornamental species for aquaria has the potential to add pressure to these ecosystems, by over-harvesting some species and damaging the coral reef.
That’s why Friend of the Sea has developed a certification scheme for the sustainable collection and farming of ornamental species.
The Friend of the Sea Ornamental Fish standard, which includes a Chain of Custody audit, helps protect and safeguard the natural environment.
The Friend of the Sea criteria for sustainable ornamental fish trade require: