Home > Explore News > Study Updates Knowledge on Species Destined for U.S. Aquariums

Study Updates Knowledge on Species Destined for U.S. Aquariums

Published on: 05/29/2012

A new analysis of importation records reveals that the U.S. marine aquarium trade brings in more species than previously estimated, but, due to errors on the forms, over counts the total number of individuals. Reliable data are important as coastal managers seek to reduce diseases and species from other parts of the world invading and threatening their local ecosystems.

Approximately 40 countries export fish and other living creatures to the U.S. for hobbyists' saltwater fish tanks. Many of the declarations mischaracterized the species in the shipment. Freshwater fish, corals and other non-marine wildlife were marked as marine ornamental fish.Americans buy more than half of all marine aquarium fish sold globally, according the New York Times, which featured this study in its Greenblog.

NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program-funded this analysis, which was published in PLOS ONE. Scientists and students from Roger Williams University, New England Aquarium, U.S. Geological Survey, Boston University, Conservation International, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation contributed to the study.

Explore Similar News


NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our quarterly newsletter or view our archives.

NCCOS Multimedia

Visit our new NCCOS Multimedia Gallery. 

Follow us on Social

Listen to our Podcast

Check out our new podcast "Coastal Conversations"