Multiple Practical Fishkeeping award winner Tri-Mar Aquaria & Reptiles has been sold, reports Bob Mehen.
The famous Cornish fishkeeping institution had been on the market since mid-2015 after long term owner Monty Ray decided to retire, but finding the right person to take over such a well known store and continue its 50-year legacy has taken time.
The new owner is local businessman Andrew Gill, who picked up the reins earlier this week. While Andrew has plenty of experience in the business world, it's his son Aaron who is the fish fanatic and had already been working at Tri-Mar under the previous owner. He will now step up to become store manager.
The current staff will be staying on and plans are already afoot to increase the range of rarer and more unusual fish species, with cichlids being a particular passion of Aaron's.
Andrew and Aaron are both determined to challenge once more for the PFK retailer of the year award which Tri-Mar won for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012 while at the same time building on the store's nationwide reputation for quality livestock at competitive prices.
A new website is already under construction which is hoped will further extend the reach of a store well known nationally for its mail-order sales of fish and other livestock.
Tri-Mar is located at Unit 16b, Pool Industrial Estate, Druids Road, Pool, Redruth, TR15 3RH.
Multi award winning aquarium and pond product manufacturer Evolution Aqua has launched the two largest aquariums it has ever made.
At 1800 x 600 x 600mm, The Aquascaper 1800 and eaReefPro1800s come built completely from 19mm super white glass on all five panels. The thick glass enables the continuation of the rimless, braceless design the two ranges are known for, while at the same time offering the ultimate in strength and safety for such large aquariums.
The Aquascaper 1800 comes with clear silicone whereas the eaReefPro1800s has black. The eaReefPro also has black vinyl wrap to the rear, black glass central weir with black acrylic removable weir comb, and a twin outlet to better distribute water flow across its length.
The Evolution Aqua ProSump with twin moveable baffles is included with every eaReefPro1800s, as well as a separate 49 l top-up reservoir ensuring maximum interval length between refills. Foam mats are provided with all Evolution Aqua aquariums and sumps as standard.
There’s no need to go custom any more as every Evolution Aqua aquarium, including the 1800, comes with a choice of 16 premium cabinet finishes, pre-built* and in stock in the UK.
eaReefPro1800s tank and cabinet are £2499.
The Aquascaper1800 tank and cabinet are £2199.
The Aquascaper tank only is £1449.
EA 1800 cabinet only is £849.
Visit your nearest Evolution Aqua aquarium stockist for more information or go to www.evolutionaqua.com/aquariums.
*the 300 cabinet comes flat-packed
Japan’s leading manufacturer of fish food, Hikari, explains the importance of feeding your pond fish not only a high quality diet, but also one that's right for the time of year.
The nutritional requirements of the fish in your pond change throughout the year. During the warmer summer months’ fish are more active and metabolism is at its highest. This is the time to feed a high quality protein diet such as Hikari Staple or Hikari Gold.
As the temperature starts to drop and Autumn sets in, the pond water will cool down and the fish’s metabolism will slow down. When the water temperature is between 10 and 15°C you should mix a high protein diet with a wheat-germ based food such as Hikari Wheat-Germ Formula. When the temperature of the water drops below 10°C you should feed only a wheat germ based diet.
Going into Spring you should reverse the process, starting with a wheat germ based diet, then combine wheat germ and protein and when the water temperature hits 16⁰C a high protein diet only.
Hikari pond foods are made from the finest quality ingredients and contain all of the essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements required to maintain and enhance the beauty and health of ornamental pond fish.
Available in small (3.5mm to 4mm), medium (5.0 to 5.5mm) and large (8.0 to 9.0mm) pellet sizes and pack sizes of 500g, 2kg, 5kg and 10kg, Hikari pond foods are high in stabilised vitamin C, helping to optimise immune system health and provide a natural defence against infection and disease.
The range includes Staple, Gold and Wheat-Germ Formula.
Hikari Staple is a time proven daily diet which promotes healthy, strong and consistent growth rates and desirable form. The unique balance of ingredients supports immune system health while helping maintain excellent water quality. This floating diet should be fed when the water temperature is 12°C or above.
Hikari Gold is an exceptional quality diet for daily feeding, providing outstanding colour enhancing properties and excellent growth rates. Hikari Gold offers carefully balanced nutrition to keep fish healthy and full of energy and should be fed when the water temperature is 15°C or above.
Hikari Gold now has improved colour enhancing ability due to an enhanced spirulina content and the addition of a new ingredient, krill. It is made using carefully selected spirulina which is high in zeaxanthin, a form of carotenoid which is metabolised by Koi. The green colour changes the vivid red of the hiban.
Hikari Wheat-Germ Formula is a highly digestible daily diet for feeding when the water temperature is 5°C or above. The use of the innermost portion of the wheat germ kernel offers a higher concentration of beneficial vitamin E and amino acids Koi can readily utilise while the added vitamin and minerals help support immune system health and increased energy reserves. The high feed efficiency makes this the perfect diet for year round feeding when improvement of the shiroji is desired and faster growth and colour enhancement is not required.
For more information about Hikari pond foods or to find your nearest stockist visit www.hikari.uk.com.
Take out a subscription to PFK and take advantage of this amazing offer.
The Fluval U-series of internal aquarium filters have recently undergone a few design tweaks and improvements, based on feedback from the fishkeepers who used them (so top marks there to the manufacturer Rolf C. Hagen for listening). As a result, this best-selling range of filters are now even better — and here's your chance to get a Fluval U2 model (RRP £46.99) when you subscribe to PFK.
The U2 filter is easy to use, quiet running and suitable for fresh or saltwater aquariums up to 110 l.
Features of the new Fluval U2 filter include:
- New sleek design
- New easy grip water control paddle
- New redesigned media cartridge – traps more debris
- Use as a primary filter for smaller aquariums, or supplementary filter for larger aquariums
- Position horizontally for shallow tanks, larger tanks with low water levels, or to create a decorative waterfall feature
- Position vertically against aquarium wall to create currents or customized flow patterns
- Convenient flip-top lid allows for quick and easy access to filter cartridge for maintenance or replacement
- Adjustable three-way flow control: Top output for circulation and oxygenation, integrated spray bar for a gentle even flow, and bottom output for deepwater agitation
- BioMax biological media, two foam pads and two poly/carbon cartridges are all included
- Made in Italy.
So click right here to subscribe today and receive your complimentary Fluval U2 filter. This offer closes on April 11, 2017. What are you waiting for?
NT Labs has updated its popular Aquarium range of treatments and fish medicines, adding new products, improving pre-existing formulations, and giving the range a fresh new look.
Based on customer feedback, NT Labs have renamed some products in the Aquarium range: General Tonic has been renamed Disease Solve, and Anti-Velvet & Slime is now called Anti-Parasite.
In addition to these name changes, Sludge Gone has been reformulated and renamed: now Aquarium Cleaner, this product is designed to digest organic material caused by the build-up of dead plant matter, fish waste and uneaten food, reducing the risk of diseases, algae growth and the need for frequent gravel cleaning. As an additional result of its reformulation, Aquarium Cleaner is now a liquid, making it easier to measure and add to an aquarium.
Plant Boost has also been reformulated. This iron-rich plant food replaces and provides all the trace elements needed to achieve vibrant and vigorous plant growth. The new formulation has a higher concentration, and is easy to use with a pump dispenser, meaning the 100ml bottle will last longer and be more cost effective.
Plant Boost has been formulated to work in conjunction with Liquid CO2 Boost, a new product in NT Labs’ Aquarium range. This gives aquatic plants a source of dissolved carbon eliminating the need for expensive equipment such as CO2 gas injection systems. With Liquid CO2 Boost, plants will grow more vigorously, removing algae-causing macronutrients such as nitrate and phosphate.
The Aquarium Starter Kit is also new to the range, and gives customers who are starting an aquarium the essential products they need before they add fish: Tap Water Safe and Filter Starter.
New Plastic Plant Cleaner removes the unsightly layer of algae and organic deposits that spoil the appearance of plastic plants and ornaments. Each pack contains five cleaning tablets and a bottle of neutraliser solution, so your decor goes back into the aquarium looking like new.
Visit www.ntlabs.co.uk for more information.
These ten extra large Koi were stolen from the display pond, along with a sturgeon, at Squire’s Garden Centre in Badshot Lea, near Farnham on Friday, March 10.
Intruders broke in late on Friday evening, and took these very valuable fish, which are worth a total of £7,725. The Koi are all over half a metre in length and had been selected in Israel for their quality by Squire’s Pets and Aquatics Manager, before being imported from Israel to Squire’s in Badshot Lea.
Deputy Chairman Sarah Squire says: “We are all absolutely devastated that this theft has happened, and are very concerned about the welfare of the fish, as they require a large pond or facility with well-filtered oxygenated water. Pet welfare is at the top of our agenda at Squire’s. We urge people to come forward if they have any information.”
If you know anything about this theft, please get in touch with Surrey Police by calling 101 or email: email@example.com.
A businessman who released 80 goldfish into a Dutch canal has been told he must retrieve them.
Hans van Manen released the goldfish, along with 200 Golden orfe, into the newly opened waterway in Veenendaal last June, according to a report on De Gelderlander website. It was part of an initiative between Mr van Manen and other local businesses to brighten up the area and create a local attraction.
But a conservation group expressed concern that eggs from the the non-native fish could enter other waterways, and it could pose a risk of interbreeding with native Crucian carp. Now the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) has ordered Mr van Manen to catch and remove the goldfish, saying their release is a breach of the law protecting native flora and fauna.
If he fails to comply by the deadline of April 8, officials say they will send Mr van Manen the bill for someone else to come and remove them. The order applies only to the goldfish.
Mr van Manen says that as the canal is only about a metre deep, catching them shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. He hopes to be able to sell the goldfish — which are now much bigger than they were when they first went in — and use the proceeds to buy more Golden orfe to replace them with.
A new study suggests it was the power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our ancient aquatic ancestors to make the momentous leap from water to land.
Crocodile-like animals first saw easy meals on land and then evolved limbs that enabled them to get there, the researchers argue.
Scientists from Northwestern University and Claremont McKenna, Scripps and Pitzer colleges in the U.S. studied the fossil record and discovered that eyes nearly tripled in size before — not after — the water-to-land transition. The tripling coincided with a shift in location of the eyes from the side of the head to the top. The expanded visual range of seeing through air may have eventually led to larger brains in early terrestrial vertebrates and the ability to plan and not merely react.
“Why did we come up onto land 385 million years ago? We are the first to think that vision might have something to do with it,” said MacIver, professor of biomedical engineering and of mechanical engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering.
“We found a huge increase in visual capability in vertebrates just before the transition from water to land. Our hypothesis is that maybe it was seeing an unexploited cornucopia of food on land — millipedes, centipedes, spiders and more — that drove evolution to come up with limbs from fins,” MacIver said. (Invertebrates came onto land 50 million years before our vertebrate ancestors made that transition.)
The enlargement of eyes is significant. By just popping those eyes above the water line, the fish could see 70 times farther in air than in water. With the tripling of eye size, the animal’s visually monitored space increased a millionfold. This happened millions of years before fully terrestrial animals existed.
“Bigger eyes are almost worthless in water because vision is largely limited to what’s directly in front of the animal,” said Schmitz, assistant professor of biology at the W.M. Keck Science Department, a joint program of Claremont McKenna, Scripps and Pitzer colleges.
“But larger eye size is very valuable when viewing through air. In evolution, it often comes down to a trade-off. Is it worth the metabolic toll to enlarge your eyes? What’s the point? Here we think the point was to be able to search out prey on land,” he said.
Larger eyes were consequently selected for, whereas the study shows that in water, larger eyes led to negligible increases in visual range. In fact, one animal group that arose after animals came onto land went back to full-time life underwater, and their eyes went back to the smaller eye size normally seen in fish, MacIver and Schmitz found.
The massive increase in visual capability enabled by vision in air likely allowed early-limbed animals to evolve more complex cognition. These animals were no longer forced to react with split-second speed as was required by life in the vision-limiting water. Eventually, the researchers said, evolution led to the human capability of prospective cognition: the power to weigh options for the future and to choose strategically.
The researchers have put together a video to explain their findings more simply, which you can watch below.
The study, ‘Massive Increase in Visual Range Preceded the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates,’ was published by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
This footage of the rather sinister looking Venus flytrap sea anemone, Actinoscyphia sp. was shot near the 'Moki' seamount, on the northern region of the American Samoa Exclusive Economic Zone, by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. It's a deep sea species that closes its tentacles to capture prey or to protect itself. This one is perched on top of a dead Iridogorgia coral — watch it closing up as the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) approaches. It's easy to see how it got its common name.
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa.
Aquarium Architecture specialises in the design, installation and ongoing maintenance of bespoke luxury aquariums. The company now has a vacancy for a Field Engineer to join its team, to manage and maintain commercial and residential aquariums. Here’s what Aquarium Architecture has to say about this exciting role…
Aquarium Architecture has built its reputation on our obsessive attention to detail, passion for aquariums and innovative design. We are now in search of a knowledgeable Field Engineer to join our Operations Team in London, to manage and maintain commercial and residential aquariums. This includes ensuring that tanks are clean, mechanical systems are functioning properly, developing flourishing displays and travelling between client locations. Candidates will also be responsible for the transfer and care of aquatic livestock.
- Clean and maintain client aquaria, including water testing, assessing livestock health, water changes, medicating tanks, feeding fish and delivering products to the customer
- Client communication and representing the company in a professional manne
- Safe transportation, delivery, and introduction of livestock
- Ensuring the ongoing health and development of client displays
- Able to work On Call, in rotation with other Field Engineers
Desired skills and experience
- At least a basic knowledge of salt and fresh water aquatic life and maintenance — saltwater preferred
- Excellent time management skills
- Eager to learn and utilise proper cleaning techniques
- Ability to travel to client locations
- Driving license required
£18,000 - £27,000 + Bonus
Tel. 020 777 12345
Salty Revolution is a completely new saltwater specialist shop, based in Mildenhall, Suffolk. It opened just a month ago, and is a partnership between James Goodchild (previously owner of Fishes and More in Mildenhall) and Dale Frankland (previously the owner of Aquatics Express in Norwich).
The new store holds 40,000 litres of marine systems, including 165 square feet of coral bays, which James says makes it the largest marine only store in the UK.
He tells us: “We carry 300-500 marine fish in stock at all times from over 100 different marine fish species, all of which are quarantined in store before being offered for sale. We also carry 30-50 species of inverts in stock, and many hundreds of corals.
"We have also installed a 7500 l shark pool.
“In creating Salty Revolution we wanted to bring something revolutionary to the marine hobby. We stock a wide range of our own products, and run all our systems on a live bacteria dosing system we devised. We are passionate about ensuring we set the highest standards for the trade.
“By the year 2020 over 25% of all the fish we sell will be captive bred specimens, and 50% of all our corals will by then be cultured by ourselves in store."
You can find Salty Revolution at 94d Hampstead Avenue, Mildenhall, IP28 7AS.
Opening hours are:
Thursday: Midday to 10pm
Friday: Midday to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Surrey-based fancy goldfish specialist, Star Fisheries, is holding an Open Day on Sunday, March 19.
Star's Andy Green days: "Since our last Open Day we have had over 5000 + new fancy goldfish arrivals from around the world including some very special Ranchu which will be available for sale on the day.
"As well as the Chinese and Thai Ranchu, we will also have a fine selection of high quality fish from the 'Andrew James Collection'.
"Aside from the Ranchu we will have some incredible goldfish for sale from the smaller sizes right up to Jumbo.
"We will be open from 10am–3pm on the day. There's plenty of free parking available."
You can find Star Fisheries at 94a Benhill Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 3RX.
WORDS: NATHAN HILL
It’s the Aspidoras you’ve never seen, and probably never will – but that cuts both ways! It lives in caves underground and lacks eyes, and for years it’s been described as the wrong fish. Now icthyologists Luiz Tencatt and Maria Bichuette have given it a name of its own. Meet Aspidoras mephisto, the first troglodont callichthyid.
In a paper published on March 1st, titled “Aspidoras mephisto, new species: The first troglobitic Callichthyidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes) from South America,” Tencatt and Bichuette explain how the fish, known for years as a cave-transitional form of Aspidoras albater turns out not to be that fish at all. Comparing multiple epigean (above ground) specimens with the hypogean (below ground) form, the duo was able to refute any claims of A. albater heritage.
What is it?
Aspidoras are the ‘little brothers’ of the Corydoradinae, physically smaller than their Corydoras and Scleromystax ilk. If you’ve dissected them and have microscopes to hand, then you can tell the difference by looking at bones in the skull – the supraoccipital fontanel to be exact.
If you’re not prone to pulling fish apart, then identify Aspidoras the way I do – if it’s smaller than a typical cory, has a longish body, and beady little eyes, it’s probably an Aspi.
Aspidoras mephisto takes the small eye thing a step further. Being a cave dweller, it has little use for vision, and so eye development is severely retarded. Unlike other well-known ‘cavies’ like the Mexican cavefish which just do away with eyes altogether, A. mephisto can come in many eye ‘flavours’. Where the eye is visible, it may or may not have a lens. It may be obscured by a shrunken orbit and skin growth closing over the top of it, or it may be covered altogether.
Its colours are mainly white-yellow or white-pink, but with a few translucent parts as well. It’s a distinctly washed out version of other Aspidoras, with grey brown blotches typical of the genus, black eyes and a green iridescence over the whole body. It’s subtly pretty.
Why the name?
Aspidoras is pretty meh as names go. ‘Aspis’ simply means shield, and ‘dora’ means skin, and it’s all a play on the armoured bodies these little cats have. Mephisto is a bit more fun, though. It comes from an old Germanic folklore demon, Mephistopheles, a character trapped in hell for selling his soul to Satan. If that name is derived from Hebrew, then it makes little sense to the fish (it kind of means ‘plasterer of lies’ in that translation), but if it’s of Greek origin, then it’s a literal negation of light loving – ‘me’ (negation, or not), ‘phos’ (light) and ‘philis’ (loving).
Short answer: it’s named after a demon. How cool?
Where does it live?
It’s only found in the Anesio-Russao cave system in the upper Rio Tocantins basin, Brazil. It lives in shallow (less than 50cm deep) slow moving waters, over substrates of boulders, clay and silt. The Anesio-Russao system is a limestone karst formation with outcrops all over the place though generally hidden by vegetation. It experiences a 5 or 6 month dry period followed by a wet season.
At the beginning of the dry season, water conditions there were: 7.8pH, conductivity 0.514mS.cm, dissolved oxygen 3.9mg/l, and temperature 22.3°C. By comparison, above ground at that time the water was softer (conductivity 0.248mS.cm), warmer (26.7°C) and more acidic (6.9pH).
It’s already threatened, courtesy of urban growth. Deforestation and sewage is impacting the caves, as well as the ever present South American mining enterprises.
It lives in pretty dense populations compared to other cave dwellers, with 5 or 6 individuals found in every square metre of footprint. There’s some root encroachment on their territory (they’re not necessarily deep down in the cave) and the juveniles use these roots for cover.
Like other callichthyds, they forage about in the substrates at about a 60° angle.
Are they blind?
Some are, some aren’t. A lot depends on the level of eye regression, but it’s interesting to note that they’re either unsighted or unruffled – they showed no aversion to lamps in the caves, nor the observers watching them. As already mentioned, the eyes can be at various stages of regression, but how much they even use them is open to some debate.
How big are they?
Tiny, like other Aspidoras. The holotype of the species is 45.6mm long, and it appears the size ranges for adults caught vary from 18.8mm to 45.6mm.
A curious offshoot of troglodont lifestyles is longevity, and A. mephisto seems to be no exception. The captive holotype (retrospectively identified – they’d have been honorary A. albater before) caught as an adult back on April 7th, 2007 stayed alive until its preservation in April 2016 – a nine year minimum adult lifespan!
How rare are they?
Tencatt and Bichuette propose that the fish should be considered Endangered already, for a few reasons. They’re only known from 5 locations over a 500km2 area, and the habitat they’re known to be is showing gradual decrease from encroachment.
The presence of sewage affecting the caves, and a lack of legal protection for them, both suggest that A. mephisto could easily shift into the Critically Endangered category real soon.
How rare are they in the hobby? You’re not going to see them any time soon, that’s for sure.
Want to know more?
If you’re the kind of person who loves scientific papers, then you can find the original below. If words like ‘sphenotic’, 'epiphesial’, and ‘ceratobranchial’ get you excited then go have your fill. It isn’t light bedtime reading, but the images are pretty cool.
Aspidoras link right here!
Photo credits: Danté Fenolio, Luiz Fernando Caserta Tencatt, Maria Elina Bichuette, PLOS one and Creative Commons.
This striking Pseudocrenilabrus species has just been described from the Upper Congo River System in Africa.
Pseudocrenilabrus pyrrhocaudalis was discovered in Lake Mweru in the upper Congo River drainage, on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.
Until its description the new species had only been known as P. sp. ‘Orange’ and it is a very strikingly coloured fish with a uniform grey head and upper body, and bright orange on the ventral part of the body in males. The orange colouration is also present on the anal and caudal fins, and the authors say this becomes a bright orange-red in breeding males. There is a broad band of bright white on the edges of anal and caudal fins.
Females are generally grey with bright orange in the lower half of caudal with orange flashes at the base of the caudal and anal fins and spots and streaks on the dorsal and caudal fins.
The male holotype measured 62.8 mm SL; the female paratype 66.7 mm SL.
The name of Pseudocrenilabrus pyrrhocaudalis is in reference to the bright orange tail which the authors say resembles a flame of fire. A common name of Fire-tailed Pseudocrenilabrus has been proposed.
This new species, which appears to be endemic to the lake, was found living sympatrically with Pseudocrenilabrus philander but whereas the latter is confined to inshore shallow water areas in Lake Mweru, the authors say that P. pyrrhocaudalis was found in demersal seine catches at open beaches.
For more information, see the paper: Katongo, Cyprian, O. Seehausen & Jos Snoeks. 2017. A new species of Pseudocrenilabrus (Perciformes: Cichlidae) from Lake Mweru in the Upper Congo River System. Zootaxa 4237(1): 181–190.
JBL has launched a new silicate eliminator prevent those unsightly brown coatings which often cover the substrate, stones, wood and even plants in the aquarium.
New JBL SilikatEx rapid is a concentrate with a 100% higher capacity than its predecessor. JBL tells us that one 400g pack will bind up to 12,000 mg silicate (SIO2). Just fill the included net bag with JBL SilikatEx, rinse briefly and place it in the filter. Suitable for both freshwater and marine systems.
Scientists aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's research ship, the Okeanos Explorer, captured footage of a deep sea Armoured sea robin using its fin rays to take a stroll along the bottom of the ocean.
The fan-like fins on each side of the sea robin’s body behind the head (pectoral fins) have stiffened rays. The first few rays are free from the membranes of the rest of the fin and are very thick. The fish uses these thickened, stiff fin rays to ‘walk’ along the bottom. That is the usual form of locomotion for sea robins, instead of swimming like most other fishes explain the scientists.
Video of this deep sea resident was taken during a dive with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) at the Ta'u Unit of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2017 American Samoa.
You can watch live streaming videos of the researchers' dives and other footage on the Okeanos Explorer website.
Sharks and other predatory fish are scarce across Caribbean coral reefs due to decades of overfishing.
But several coral reefs throughout this region offer ideal conditions for fish recovery — if they are protected from human impacts, researchers found.
The study by scientists at the Centre for Biological Diversity, the Smithsonian Institution and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — found that while up to 90% of large reef-fish predators are absent from most Caribbean reefs, several ‘super sites’ should be priorities for conservation due to their high recovery potential.
“Predatory reef fishes have nearly been wiped out, but we can bring them back with smart conservation measures,” said Abel Valdivia, a marine ecologist with the Centre for Biological Diversity. “If fishing is eliminated or reduced and effective protection is put in place, some of these reefs could support unbelievable abundances of predatory fishes. We called them super sites.”
The researchers analysed 39 coral reefs inside and outside marine protected areas across the Bahamas, Florida, Cuba, Mexico and Belize and estimated the biomass of all reef fish species at each location for three years. The study also identified the best combination of environmental and biological factors to forecast large predatory fish biomass in the absence of fishing. The authors measured coral abundance and other reef features known to influence large predators, as well as variables such as coastal development, human population density and enforcement of fishing regulations.
“It is unbelievable how uncommon most large predators in coral reefs are today, especially near large human population centres,” said Courtney Cox of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. “Only at a handful of sites across the entire Caribbean could we see large groupers and reef sharks. When you see them, they are very wary of your presence and quickly disappear. Most reefs with big fish predators are inside well-enforced marine reserves, which attract a large number of tourists every year.”
Today large predatory fishes are more abundant within fishing-prohibited marine protected areas than unprotected reefs or sites with inadequate fishing regulations. But the biomass of predatory fishes that coral reefs can support depends on specific environmental conditions and prey availability — the carrying capacity of a particular system. This means that the recovery potential for fish at each reef varies across space and time.
Marine reserves are the most commonly used management strategy to protect reef fish from fishing, and studies show they can rapidly increase fish abundance in as little as five to 10 years. Such areas also boost local economies by promoting tourism and eventually local fisheries. But even at the best-enforced marine reserves, illegal fishing is still occurring. Practices like shark feeding make large predators vulnerable to poaching when they leave fishing closures.
“Over their long lifespan, a live reef shark or huge goliath grouper is worth millions of dollars in revenue to the local tourism industry because thousands of people travel to these locations just to see these creatures,” said John Bruno, a professor of marine conservation at the University of North Carolina. “Just imagine if we can effectively protect these super sites that offer ideal conditions for predatory fishes. I believe that in less than a decade we could see a substantial increase in large predators and with them local economic growth.”
The study is published in the journal Science Advances.
Shrimp specialist shop and former shrimp wholesaler Sharnbrook Shrimp has closed.
The 2016 PFK Freshwater Shrimp Retailer of the Year, and also Small Retailer of the Year, based in Rushden, Northants, ceased trading in February.
Owner Lucas Witte-Vermeulen posted the announcement on the store’s Facebook page, thanking all his loyal customers for their support.
The announcement, which was made on February 9, came as a shock to many customers, as only the previous month Sharnbrook had announced that it would no longer be supplying the UK wholesale market, but was reorganising and refurbishing the premises into a “100% retail aquatic shop selling freshwater/marine fish and shrimp, and possibly pond supplies.”
This lovely little characin represents both a new genus and species. It was discovered recently in a tributary of Rio Teles Pires, Tapajos basin, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
It has been named Phycocharax rasbora, the genus name deriving from the Greek phykos, meaning “algae”, in allusion to its feeding habit, plus charax, meaning “pointed stake” or “palisade of pointed sticks”.
Males were noticeably more coloured than females, and the upper portion of eye was red to shiny red, compared to pale red in females, along with differences in the shape of the anal fin. The largest specimens examined were 3.4cm (male) and 3.1cm (female).
It was collected primarily in dammed portions of the Rio Braco Norte. The authors say: “Contrasting from other tributaries of the Rio Tapajos basin, which are primarily clearwater rivers, the Braco Norte is a blackwater tributary of the Rio Teles Pires. In the site of occurrence of P. rasbora was a small hydroelectric dam and apparently the reservoir condition promoted the proliferation of algae. As consequence of the damming, the species thrived and can be considered as highly abundant at the dammed portion of the rio Braco Norte".
We told you last year that it was closing soon, but we’re delighted to announce that the PFK forum is to remain up and running, along with a new look!
Those of you who are regular users of the incredibly popular PFK forum were no doubt as saddened as we were by the news that it was due to be closed soon after the main website moved to its new platform last summer.
We resisted the closure here at the PFK office and we managed to get a ‘stay of execution’ for several months. We also had loads of posts and emails from users, including some who had even met their partners through the forum, and who wanted it to stay.
And it’s all paid off! We're keeping the forum.
So we’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported us, along with the mods for all their hard work, and everyone out there who uses the PFK forum.
This does mean that the forum will be offline on Tuesday, while the migration work takes place. A nice new shiny forum will then appear — users will be able to log in with their same credentials into this new version of the forum and all the original content will remain.