Overfishing breeding adults threatens the reef population. Olazul’s juvenile capture methods reduce pressure on adult populations by targeting marine aquarium species at a more sustainable life-cycle stage. Our low-cost technology makes application possible in remote locations with the greatest need for livelihoods supporting conservation.
Onshore facilities to grow juvenile marine aquarium species to adulthood require specialized feed, water filtration and chemistry systems that are difficult to use in remote communities. Olazul’s open-ocean growout reduces stress on aquarium species and minimizes problems with water chemistry by keeping them in their natural environment.
Blue tang have a sad story to tell. The United States imports 11 million live aquarium fish per year, comprising 1800+ species. To supply the hobbyist market, divers in Southeast Asia gather blue tang and other marine aquarium species from coral reefs. Some engage in destructive techniques (like using cyanide or breaking corals) and poor handling, which result in mortality rates between 30-80% and in severe cases as high as 90%. This means millions more animals are removed from coral reefs than required to meet demand.
Coral reefs are biodiversity hotspots, hosting 25 percent of all marine fish species. Each animal on the reef performs an important role in keeping the ecosystem healthy and overfishing particular species for the marine aquarium trade can disturb the natural balance. When divers use cyanide to stun target fish, they kill hard corals that provide food and hiding places for many reef dwellers. Once coral dies in an area impacted by overfishing and pollution, the reef can fall down “the slippery slope to slime” that ends in an ugly, algae-dominated wasteland.
Destruction of coral reefs threatens the safety and food security of the communities where collection occurs, yet many rely on the trade for essential cash income. Apart from accidental exposure to cyanide, divers collecting marine aquarium species are at risk from diving methods that can result in a shortened lifespan or severe injury when done incorrectly or with faulty equipment.
RESTORING HEALTHY, PRODUCTIVE ECOSYSTEMS REQUIRES
INVESTING IN THE COMMUNITIES THAT DEPEND ON THEM.
Olazul is a non-profit working with coastal communities to design new ways of producing and marketing popular
ocean products - like shrimp and aquarium fish - that incentivize marine conservation.
Please consider making a charitable contribution to our programs today!