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The Socioeconomic Effects of Aquaculture on Wild-Caught Freshwater Ornamental Fisheries

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The global trade for ornamental fish is a multibillion dollar industry that has been traditionally sourced from developing countries, and includes over 2,500 species, 60% of which are freshwater. While the majority of freshwater fish are now captive-bred, many are still removed from wild populations. This case study aims to evaluate the socioeconomic effects of aquaculture on wild-caught freshwater ornamental fisheries and the associated local communities. A literature review was conducted to identify and evaluate the regions of Barcelos, Rio Negro, Brazil and Lake Malawi, Africa, where the growth of aquaculture is having significant socioeconomic effects. Exporters in these regions depend on the local communities for extraction of fish and with the rapid growth of aquaculture and price competition, these areas are experiencing ecological and socioeconomic declines. In Barcelos, Rio Negro, Brazil, the Cardinal Tetra is the flagship fish, accounting for 70% of all fish sold in the region. However, the ornamental trade has experienced rapid declines in total fish exports from 56.6 million in 2000 to 6.4 million in 2014. There has been a concurrent increase in deforestation for subsistence agriculture. Lake Malawi, Africa has experienced similar effects as the total export value of the fishery has decreased from $129,595 in 2000 to $37,935 in 2014. In both case study regions, the growth of aquaculture has resulted in significant declines in production as well as negative effects on the associated local communities who rely on the fishery for subsistence.

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The Socioeconomic Effects of Aquaculture on Wild-Caught Freshwater Ornamental Fisheries

The global trade for ornamental fish is a multibillion dollar industry that has been traditionally sourced from developing countries, and includes over 2,500 species, 60% of which are freshwater. While the majority of freshwater fish are now captive-bred, many are still removed from wild populations. This case study aims to evaluate the socioeconomic effects of aquaculture on wild-caught freshwater ornamental fisheries and the associated local communities. A literature review was conducted to identify and evaluate the regions of Barcelos, Rio Negro, Brazil and Lake Malawi, Africa, where the growth of aquaculture is having significant socioeconomic effects. Exporters in these regions depend on the local communities for extraction of fish and with the rapid growth of aquaculture and price competition, these areas are experiencing ecological and socioeconomic declines. In Barcelos, Rio Negro, Brazil, the Cardinal Tetra is the flagship fish, accounting for 70% of all fish sold in the region. However, the ornamental trade has experienced rapid declines in total fish exports from 56.6 million in 2000 to 6.4 million in 2014. There has been a concurrent increase in deforestation for subsistence agriculture. Lake Malawi, Africa has experienced similar effects as the total export value of the fishery has decreased from $129,595 in 2000 to $37,935 in 2014. In both case study regions, the growth of aquaculture has resulted in significant declines in production as well as negative effects on the associated local communities who rely on the fishery for subsistence.