OATA’s role in conservation

From reefs, rainforests and the rift valley, our industry helps sustain local livelihoods and critical ecosystems.

Since 1991, OATA has been working with international bodies to ensure that conservation issues are addressed on a global scale, from point of capture in the wild to point of sale.  Our work and reputation has ensured we have a voice on consultation committees, both home and abroad, addressing a range of issues including endangered species and invasives that unnecessary regulation could have a direct impact on our UK members.

Some interesting facts about the ornamental fish industry

  • Marine fish are collected from the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean and some areas of the Atlantic – destined for either the local dinner plate or home aquariums in the western world. But the difference between what fish are worth to these two different industries is quite amazing. In the Maldives a kilo of live marine fish exported for sale to aquarists nets US$500. But if the same kilo of fish is sold locally to eat it would garner just $6. Likewise with live rock. If it’s destined for display its value is $2 to $4 but if it’s ground up for local construction, it’s worth just 2 cents. An example of how the ornamental fish industry offers the greatest value for fish harvested from coral reefs, making it sustainable income source.

  • Deforestation in Brazil is a major contributor to the country being one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas producers (around half of its emissions). But did you know the ornamental fish industry is already playing its part in providing alternative jobs & income to Brazilians, rather than cutting down trees for agriculture? It’s estimated our industry employs between 8 to 10,000 people and nearly 60% of income in Barcelos alone comes from trade in wild caught fish. These fish need pristine habitats so fishermen know how important it is to preserve the rainforest. It’s also estimated that 8 billion tonnes of carbon is fixed in areas of the Amazonas where fish are collected. Project Piaba, a research group working in this area, has a slogan ‘buy a fish, save a tree’.