Captive bred or wild caught? Depending on the species, there can be arguments made for the merits of both. After years of focusing on advocating captive bred fish, many are realizing that sustainable wild collection that is managed properly can help support conservation measures, such as is being demonstrated by Project Piaba. However, this mostly applies to freshwater fish. Marine species, thanks to the complexity and difficulty of their life cycles, are still being captive bred in relatively small numbers, and we should be making every effort possible to develop and promote captive breeding initiatives.
Tank Raised Clownfish
A Brief Overview
When it comes to captive breeding, there has still been relatively little success when compared to breeding freshwater fish. This is due, in large part, to the significantly more complex life cycle of marine fish in which most species will hatch from eggs into what is known as a pelagic larval stage. During this phase, the fish larvae are almost completely helpless, floating in the current and eating whatever microorganisms happen to pass closely enough for them to grab. Replicating the precise conditions that allow these larvae to survive until they are ready to settle to the bottom and metamorphose into their final form is often still a challenge that, for many fish, nobody knows the solution for. However, in recent years there have been several notable breakthroughs in the culture of marine organisms, and perhaps none of these are as impressive as the proliferation of captive bred clownfish.