Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - News -

UK Bred Ltd, the UK’S only Ce­fasautho­rised breeder of ma­rine fish and in­ver­te­brates, has cel­e­brated its first year of trad­ing. The hatch­ery pro­duces a small range of fish and in­verts for whole­sale sup­ply to shops, and has big plans for the fu­ture.

As pres­sure on reef ecosys­tems from cli­mate change, pol­lu­tion and over-ex­ploita­tion grows, more ma­rine aquar­ists are in­ter­ested in where their fish come from. The an­i­mals raised at the West Sus­sexbased fa­cil­ity have never seen the sea, don’t bring in dis­eases or hitch­hik­ers from the wild, and are ac­cli­ma­tised to life in a tank. As many more species are listed as en­dan­gered or come un­der the con­trol of CITES, and tra­di­tional fisheries face bans on col­lec­tion and ex­port, it’s likely more of the fish in hob­by­ists’ tanks will need to come from cap­tive breed­ing pro­grammes.

Tony Evans, owner and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, first be­came con­cerned about the wild col­lec­tion of fish for the aquar­ium trade while on a div­ing hol­i­day. This led to a pi­lot project in his base­ment, hours of study and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, and fi­nally to the cur­rent com­mer­cial fa­cil­ity.

“It’s an idea whose time has come,” he says. “Ev­ery year we see an ever-grow­ing list of species that have been suc­cess­fully bred by hob­by­ists, yet our lo­cal fish shops are still mostly full of wild­caught fish. Our task is to take the knowl­edge amassed by hob­by­ists and ap­ply it com­mer­cially to try to in­crease the pro­por­tion of cap­tive-bred fish in shops.”

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