Interesting Old Information

28 Dec 2007
Reaction score
I had no idea how BIG this marine trade is considering this info is 12 years old, I can only imagine how much bigger it must be:

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]"Marine aquarium fish keeping is the largest growth area in the lucrative ornamental fish market.[/FONT][FONT=&quot] While overall trade in marine aquarium fish is steadily increasing, there is a growing resistance to trade in wild-caught fish, due to legislation and environmental education. It follows that if these trends continue to strengthen, the demand for farm-reared fish will be amplified. The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa has identified the increasing demand for farm-reared marine aquarium fish as a possible area for commercial development. They funded a four year research programme at Rhodes University, to test the feasibility of rearing marine aquarium fish in a commercially sustainable manner in southern Africa. [/FONT][/FONT] [FONT=&quot] Local demand for marine aquarium fish was estimated at R 1.5 million per annum (import parity price) in 1997. It is estimated that 60 000 marines are traded annually in South Africa, 95% of which are imported (all wild caught). Demand for marine aquarium fish is estimated to have grown by about 40% over the past 3 years and is forecasted to continue growing at 15% to 20% per annum over the next 3 years. The high growth in demand is attributed to the lifting of a 40% import duty in 1994, which resulted in the establishment of specialized marine aquarium fish shops and an increase in fish availability. The most important species bred for commercial purposes, clownfish, is estimated to represent about 16 % (R240 000) of the total value and 25 % (15 000) of fish volume. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Commercially available marine salts and trace elements make it possible to keep marine fish anywhere and demand is spread throughout the country. The main concentration of demand is located in Gauteng (60%), Western Cape (15%) and Kwazulu/Natal (10%). Based on the import statistics of ornamental fish and industry sources, there are an estimated 10 000-12 000 active marine tanks in South Africa and 0.03% of South Africans keep marine aquarium fish. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]In the USA, sales were estimated at $160 million in 1995 and 0.4 % of Americans keep marines (i.e. marine aquarium fish-keeping is 13 times more popular in the USA than in South Africa). The South African market has the potential to grow, but the demographics of our society and the greater affluence of Western World countries make direct comparisons difficult. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]The majority of marine aquarium fish (95%) are imported into South Africa and the major suppliers are located in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Miami USA, Kenya and the Philippines. All the local ornamental fish wholesalers and several retailers import marine fish, and some wholesalers also act as import agents for retailers who do not import fish themselves. Importers indicate that a wide choice of possible suppliers exist in each country and supplier loyalty is based firstly on price and secondly on the consistency in quality. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]The imports of all ornamental fish to South Africa grew by 14% per annum (deflated at 10% p.a.) over the 5 years up to 1996 (Table 1), and were estimated to grow at a minimum of 10% per annum over the subsequent 3 years. Imports of marines are estimated to have grown by 27% per annum over the same period. Local supply (5% of demand) is very limited and erratic, with no legal commercial wild sources (local reefs are protected by marine reserves) and a limited cultured source from hobbyists and surplus stocks from the research programmes of the Department of Ichthyology & Fisheries Science at Rhodes University and the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) in Durban. [FONT=&quot]Apart from these two research hatcheries, there are no commercial marine fish breeding facilities in southern Africa. [/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Table 1[FONT=&quot]: Ornamental fish imports and exports in South Africa.[/FONT][/FONT]



The major threat to marine aquarium fish culture on a commercial scale is the low cost of imported wild fish. Importers land clownfish at between R13.00 to R18.00 per fish based on a cost of R3.00 to R8.00 per fish and R10.00 for transport, handling and packaging. The retailers that use import agents pay an additional 10% handling fee and the remaining retailers have to buy clownfish at R25.00 to R30.00 (100 % mark-up). Clownfish retail at prices ranging from R35.00 to R80.00, depending on the species and the geographic location of the retailer. Retailers also place a higher mark-up on the popular fish like clownfish and damselfish to subsidize the cost of more expensive fish.
Compared to Europe and the USA the local market is still unsophisticated. Captive-bred fish can be sold at a premium in these countries, due to the ecological concern of the aquarists, as well as the implementation of long-awaited environmental legislation controlling trade in marine aquarium fish in these regions. The major buying criterion for the local consumer is still low price, followed by large size and good survival. [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
If marine aquarium fish farming in southern Africa is to be commercially viable, it has to target the international market. The international market demands volume, variety and reliability from its suppliers. The only way to achieve this is through large-scale commercial production at dedicated marine hatcheries, or through a number of small-scale, specialist breeders who approach the international market as a co-operative unit, with a centralised collection and shipping station. "


Similar threads