Clownfish aquarium opens

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The world s first public aquarium specialising in clownfish has opened in Taiwan.

The aquarium in Taitung County will eventually display 1500 clown fish from 18 different species.

The clownfish to be exhibited will include five species native to Taiwan along with species from the rest of the world including tank-bred fish produced by breeders including the Eastern Marine Biology Research Center, Taitung.

The aim of the aquarium is to educate the public in captive breeding techniques, and to educate the public about the life cycle of the fishes.

Researcher and museum planner Ho Yuan-hsing said: By meeting market needs we are helping to ease the crisis of clownfish species being endangered. Due to the increasing number of artificially-bred clown fish, the fishing of clownfish is no longer seen in Taiwan's coastal areas because it is unnecessary.

Clownfish are not listed as threatened but the film Finding Nemo did create a high demand for these fish with studies in the US showing a 20% increase in sales.

Research last year also found that collecting from the wild for aquariums does have a negative impact on wild populations.