Catching and rearing postlarval cleaner shrimp for the aquarium trade: results from a WorldFish Center project in Solomon Islands
- Between 1999 and 2003, the WorldFish Center in Solomon Islands conducted research into the feasibility of a new fishery based on the capture and culture of postlarval coral reef fish for the live fish trade. The work was carried out in two phases: a research phase from late 1999 to the end of 2002; and a “finetuning” phase in 2003. Most of the species were of value to the marine aquarium trade, with very few live reef food fish recorded. The most valuable ornamentals were the banded cleaner shrimp, Stenopus species. Cleaner shrimp were harvested using crest nets, the method being modified with the addition of a solid, water-retaining cod-end designed to increase survival at capture. Grow-out techniques were improved by rearing the shrimp separately in jars to prevent aggression. The jars were painted black to protect the shrimp from sunlight. An economic model using experimental catch data and farm gate prices indicates that the fishery based on shrimp, supplemented with small numbers of lobster and fish is economically viable. The next step will be setting up a demonstration farm in a village in the Western Province of Solomon Islands.
- Sustainable aquaculture 
Michael Phillips: 0000-0002-0282-0286
- Journal Article