Uk Ornamental Marine Hatchery Opens To Trade

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UK ornamental marine hatchery opens to trade
19th December 2017

By Sandra Pearce

The country’s only government-registered ornamental marine hatchery is now up and running and supplying the trade with a selection of clownfish, seahorses and peppermint shrimps.

UK Bred has been around since 2014, and after two years of ‘quietly researching and refining’ its production techniques, took on a commercial premises in West Sussex in 2016 and fitted it out as a purpose-built marine hatchery to supply the trade with a sustainable source of livestock. 

Director Tony Evans said: “When I decided to start UK Bred, I was struck by the disconnect between what was possible and what was being done; there was excellent progress being made in breeding new species, but almost all the stock in local fish shops was still wild caught. 

“People were doing it to show it was possible, but then moving on to the next species. 

“To make a difference, what was needed was for someone to take all this information and apply it commercially. 

“I think it’s an idea whose time has come. Since we started I’ve seen more and more interest in tank-bred fish in the industry, not just from a sustainability point of view, but because tank-bred fish are a better product; acclimatised to aquarium life and not carrying pests or disease in from the wild.” 

The West Sussex hatchery offers a selection of UK-bred clownfish, seahorses and peppermint shrimps, and has plans to offer a wider range of species in the future. Retailers can visit the hatchery in person to hand pick livestock, or choose a delivery via  overnight service.

Tony added: “Our retail and wholesale partners have been very supportive of what we are trying to do here. By working together I think we can reach a point in the next decade where the majority of fish in the industry are tank bred.”

Hatchery manager Dylan Taylor said: “Having worked in marine hatcheries, public aquariums and even undertaken a stint running a facility collecting and exporting wild-caught marine fish from the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, I’ve been able to see the aquarium industry from different viewpoints.