Public aquaria are institutions that mostly include aquatic animals. Since 1990, more than 100 public aquaria have been opened and their number keeps on increasing each year. This expansion reflects public enthusiasm, more and more sensitive to conservation and sustainability.
As public aquaria develop, the need for correct politics with the animal welfare arises. The right animals and techniques can serve as a channel to reach the population by promoting sustainable attitudes and behaviours.
The educational opportunities of these institutions can inspire people to be more environmentally friendly and to know the real state of our aquatic environment. This potential reaches more than 150 million visitors each year, highlighting the importance of sustainable credentials.
Friend of the Sea criteria for sustainable aquaria require:
Ornamental Fish Trade
The ornamental fish trade refers to tropical marine species kept at home and public aquaria. It is estimated that more than 2 billion live ornamental fishes are moved annually worldwide, including fishes, corals, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants and live rocks.
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 programme for sustainable collection and farming of ornamental species.
Friend of the Sea Ornamental Fish standard, which includes a Chain of Custody audit, helps protect and safeguard the natural environment.
Friend of the Sea criteria for sustainable ornamental fish trade require: