Where is Rising Tide Conservation located?
Rising Tide Conservation operates across the United States at stakeholder facilities. Current information about Rising Tide can be found on our social media pages (e.g. Instagram, Facebook) and more in-depth information, including breakthroughs, research findings, and stakeholders, is available on our website.
What fish has Rising Tide Conservation Successfully reared?
Rising Tide has supported the efforts to successfully aquaculture over 20 species of marine ornamental fish. Currently, only 10-15% of commercially available species are aquacultured, so this is only the beginning. Visit “Our Fish” to learn more!
What fish are you working on? How do you decide which fish to focus on?
To find up to date information about the fish currently being researched, please check our updates on the Rising Tide Facebook and our Latest News Blog on our website. The decision on which new fish species to work on is complex, with input from industry experts and dependent on a number of factors. These factors can include market demand, access to spawn, and biological traits that make them suitable for aquaculture and aquariums.
Where can I buy Rising Tide Fish?
Our goal is to have every fish aquacultured by Rising Tide to become commercially available, however sometimes the process can take years to become a reality. Rising Tide supports the purchase of verified aquaculture and sustainably sourced fish, even if it wasn’t from us! We want to encourage a change in the industry and believe the best way is for us all to work together.
What is Aquaculture?
Generally, aquaculture refers to the “breeding, rearing, and harvesting of [aquatic] plants and animals” (NOAA, http://bit.ly/1AkcojD) for consumption, conservation, or commercial production. Aquaculture is done with both freshwater and marine species and can take place contained within the natural ecosystem (in nets or cages), or on land in manmade systems.
At Rising Tide, our mission is to develop and promote aquaculture of marine ornamental fish for the aquarium trade. When Rising Tide says that a species has been “aquacultured”, it means that a facility has reared the spawn of broodstock from egg to adult, completely within a controlled environment. The purpose of researching aquaculture techniques is to discover the ideal conditions that allow marine ornamental fish to breed, spawn, and thrive in a controlled environment, without the need to remove spawn or fish from the ocean. Once these methods are discovered, the information is shared on the Rising Tide website, and replicated by other Rising Tide research facilities. The adult fish are then sent to other Rising Tide stakeholders, including producers, or kept for further studies. The goal of Rising Tide is to share these aquaculture methods to encourage the aquaculture of marine ornamentals on a commercial scale in order to meet market demand and reduce impacts from the wild fish collection.
How does Aquaculture help coral reefs?
Aquacultured marine fish are a known sustainable alternative to wild-caught fish. A wild collection of marine ornamental fish is done by hand, with divers and snorkelers collecting the fish individually. Many of the popular marine ornamental fish inhabit coral reefs for some or all of their lifecycle. This means that collection of marine ornamentals often occurs on coral reefs. There are a couple ways that wild-collection can cause harm to the coral reefs.
- Directly: Some reefs are located in remote locations, requiring a boat to access them. Boat anchors have the potential to hook on and drag across corals, destroying them in the process. Boat oil, gasoline, trash and other leftover items can get into the ocean and pollute the water around corals The presence of people on the reef also has the potential to damage the coral through poor collection techniques, such as moving or destroying coral or using cyanide to collect fish. By spraying cyanide over the reef, collectors immobilize the fish making them easier to collect, however, cyanide can cause death and long-term health problems for the collected fish, and can also damage or kill the coral that may be weakened by bleaching events.
- Ecologically: Coral reefs are ecosystems that support diverse plant and animal life. The species in these ecosystems rely on each other for survival. For example, some fish consume the algae that grow on top of the coral, which allows more light to reach the symbiotic algae, zooxanthellae, that live within the coral. If too many of the fish are collected from the same reef, the algae can become overgrown on the coral, limiting light and ultimately stunting coral growth. Increasing the availability of aquacultured fish on the commercial market could reduce demand for the wild caught species, reducing the opportunity for a species to be overfished on a reef.
How can I Help?
Always make sure to know where the fish you purchase come from and how they were collected. Talk to your local pet store about stocking aquacultured species. Share information about Rising Tide; education and awareness are the biggest steps towards change and protecting coral reefs. And, of course, donate to Rising Tide today! Your contributions will help us increase the variety of commercially available aquacultured marine ornamental fish.
What is the difference between commercial Aquaculture, tank raised, cultured and captive bred?
There are not currently any industry-wide accepted definitions for these terms. Without official definitions or enforcement, these terms are used at the discretion of the user. That means these terms can be misrepresented, and consumers should always make sure to understand how and where the fish are sourced.
- Aquaculture: The process of raising a fish from egg to adult in a controlled environment. Eggs are collected from broodstock and larvae are fed commercially available feeds.
- Captive-bred: Often used interchangeably with aquaculture.
- Tank-raised: The process of raising a fish in a controlled environment. It does not always mean from an egg. Tank-raised fish could mean juvenile fish that are wild-caught and was then raised in a tank until it reaches market size.
- Cultured: Interchangeable with tank-raised.