The SEASMART Program is coming together in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to create a new sustainable, environmentally conscious and profitable trade. The marine aquarium livestock collection trade has definitely had negative impacts on natural habitats of many tropical regions but untouched by the ornamental marine aquarium trade, PNG has remained one of the true last frontiers. SEASMART is a joint project by the PNG National Fisheries Authority (NFA) and social/environmental consultancy EcoEZ Inc, to build the marine aquarium trade in PNG to a sustainable and profitable level. This is the operation has already began shipping out PNG fish and claim that they will have CITES permits for PNG corals next year. Located off the northeastern coast of Australia and east of Indonesia, PNG has aÂ relatively small population on the mainland and surrounding islands and the population has not had a huge negative impact on the surrounding reefs compared to other countries in the area. PNG touts a rich, biologically diverse reef surrounding with a greatest diversity of species of marine life than any other place in the world. We have already seen new and usual morphs of fish come from PNG including the mostly xanthic morph of the bicolor angelfish, Centropyge bicolor, and the lightning maroon clownfish. The marine aquarium trade offers one of the most profitable of all reef-related trades in the world and SEASMART is using training for collectors, fisheries, and holding and export facilities to provide non-destructive and ethical collection, transport and shipment of the livestock. It is great that this species-rich area is being developed the right way to provide the hobby with unique specimens with the emphasis on sustainability and environmental impact and restoration. We look forward to beautiful fish and corals coming from PNG to the market.
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