The marine aquarium animals in your local pet store likely have traveled a long way to get there. While some aquarium pets are harvested or farmed in the United States, far more are imported -- the US is the largest importer of aquarium animals worldwide. The majority of aquarium pets come to the United States from Indonesia and the Philippines, where these animals are harvested from natural systems (often using unsustainable or destructive methods). These countries are part of a region known as the Coral Triangle, which is home to more species of corals and reef fishes than anywhere in the world.
Know before you buy! Home aquarium hobbyists can play an active role in helping the aquarium trade support reef friendly ways of obtaining animals (see 'Actions for Reef Friendly Hobbyists'). To do so, understand where animals come from and try to purchase those harvested or produced in a way that supports healthy animals and reefs. Explore the sourcing of your aquarium pets and consider the health of the animals and their original home reefs before you buy. Be prepared, this may not be easy but it is important to let retailers know that customers want this information.
Explore the different places aquarium animals come from and their role in supporting reef conservation...
The Global Aquarium Trade
Aquarium animals come from all over the world and are collected in a variety of ways. Explore where they come from and how they get here.
Farmed in Indonesia
Aquarium pets are farmed in many places. Read about fish farmers in Indonesia who are making a positive contribution to conservation while supplying the aquarium trade.