Category Archives: Conservation

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New York Subway Cars Transformed Into Artificial Reefs

subway 1 All along the East Coast, New York subway cars are being transformed into artificial reefs. Photographer Stephen Mallon has caught some amazing shots of the subway cars being recycled into new homes for marine life. These 18 ton stainless steel cars are stacked up on liners and then dropped into the Atlantic, minus their wheels, windows and doors.… More:

Commercially Available Porkfish

Figure 1. Captive bred Porkfish juvenile available fromFishEye Aquaculture. Three years ago we posted a blog stating the commercial production potential of Porkfish, Anisotremis virginicus (Porkfish Protocol – Rising Tide’s First Commercial Species). As you’ll recall, researchers at the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory collected eggs spawned at SeaWorld Orlando and grew them to the juvenile phase and beyond. This was not the first time that Porkfish had been grown in captivity (again credit goes to Martin Moe and company). It was, however, the first time that Porkfish had been grown from eggs spawned in captivity using standard commercial production protocols; including the use of hatchery grown live feeds (rotifers and Artemia). This proved inspiring to one of Rising Tide’s industry partners who decided to add this fish to their list of available species. Figure 2. Captive bred Porkfish juveniles available fromFishEye Aquaculture

The Reef Table: Ret Talbot and Rich Ross on Sustainability and Conservation

 WAIT! Don’t tune out – this will be interesting. Is it a glamorous topic? Not at all. I sat down (giddily) with one Ret Talbot and one Richard Ross to talk about sustainability, conservation and what it means to the hobby. We talked about just how sexy it is (spoiler alert: it’s not even the tiniest bit sexy).… More:

Hydra Aquatics and Tony’s Vault Launch a More Mindful Wholesale Facility in South Florida

HydraPR0001Down in Sunny Dania Beach, Florida, something quite refreshing is rumbling within the trade – a wholesale facility brought to us by Hydra Aquatics International and Tony’s Vault that focuses on the wellbeing and health of livestock as opposed to simply turning a profit.  Many wholesalers have a tendency to do what could be considered “flipping” livestock – they get in an order of fish/corals and have it available for sale within days. This means many of the beautiful specimens you see at your local fish store were most likely halfway across the world just a few days ago, swimming (or slowly building a calcium carbonate skeleton) along, minding their own business.… More:

Sharks In The Water At New Detroit Aquarium

There is a new aquarium opening in Detroit this month, and it is not where you would it expect it to be opening.  The Sea Life Michigan Aquarium will be opening in the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Detroit. The 35,000 sq foot aquarium will be open on January 29, 2015 and will feature over 5,000 different creatures.MOREMore:

Cool Video From Groundbreaking Glass Fish Eye Implant

I recently wrote about the groundbreaking procedure of glass eyes being implanted into two Rockfish at the Vancouver Aquarium. A video of the unique operation has recently been released. It shows the talented husbandry team at the Vancouver Aquarium completing the complex surgery.

Having worked as and Aquarist and Researcher at the Vancouver Aquarium from 1996-2003, it is great to see a couple of my colleagues in the video and that the Aquarium continues to be a leader in fish health and husbandry. MoreMore:

Aging Bony Fish

Pair of otoliths.

Pair of otoliths.

When conducting studies, many ecologists are posed with the question: How old is this fish? Because size is rarely a fair indication of age, the use of a more precise method is often required. The most prevalent method of aging bony fish is known as Otolith Analysis. This procedure entails the extraction and microscope analysis of the fish’s otoliths – small calcium carbonate structures that are located slightly posterior to the fish’s eyes. 
An otolith with visible annuli.

An otolith with visible annuli.

 These structures, which are used as gravity, balance, and movement indicators, grow continuously throughout a fish’s life and exhibit a unique growth pattern. This growth pattern is thought to be a result of seasonal temperature changes – during the winter, the otoliths grow slowly, accreting lightly-colored calcium carbonate; during the summer, the otoliths grow quickly, accreting darker calcium carbonate. The contrast between lighter calcium carbonate and darker calcium carbonate forms rings known as annuli. Since each annuli represents one year, scientists may determine the age of the fish by counting them.… More:

Some Damn Funny Videos Come With Some Brutally Sobering Realities

 These little clips are likely to elicit a mélange of feels – a giggle, some tears, fits of rage, guilt and shame. #ReefReels is a short film competition presented by GetUp! Australia – one of Australia’s largest campaigning communities, boasting a following of over 600,000 members. Hitting multiple targets with their campaigns, many are dedicated to conservation and rehabilitation of The Great Barrier Reef, a treasure with a fate that’s wildly unknown but certainly bleak if proper attention isn’t paid. … More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.