Development of culture methods for marine ornamental fish larvae

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2009-00315
Amount: $79,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
20 GODFREY DR, Orono, ME, 04473
DUNS: 784071917
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Soren Hansen
 Business owner
 (207) 478-1505
 soren.hansen@umit.maine.edu
Business Contact
 Soren Hansen
Title: President
Phone: (207) 478-1505
Email: soren.hansen@umit.maine.edu
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The marine aquarium industry is growing rapidly due to the increasing popularity of keeping marine aquariums. Each year approximately 25 million fish are harvested from coral reefs around the world to supply the marine aquarium hobby. The U.S. market accounts for approximately 60% of these wild collected fish. The collection of reef organisms threatens the coral reefs due to frequent overharvesting and the use of damaging collection techniques including dynamite and sodium cyanide. Furthermore, high mortalities often occur due to poor husbandry practices and extended shipping times from source to destination. This unsustainable fishing practice is damaging to the already threatened coral reefs and at best delivers a low quality product to market. The culture of marine ornamental fish aquaculture is an emerging sector of the aquaculture industry. Only a small percentage of the 1471 species traded are currently being cultured at a commercial level. The bottleneck problems preventing the culture of most marine ornamental fish species center around the early stages of the small and fragile larvae from pelagic spawned fish eggs. We believe the marketplace seeks alternatives to the capture of wild organisms to help reduce the fishing pressure from reef environments. It is our goal to supply the growing marine aquarium trade with a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of fish. Our proposed research includes progressive steps toward the successful and economically feasible culture of high-value marine ornamental fish that are thus far not raised in commercial aquaculture.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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