RVS 4 Star Mariculture Coral Farm has just struck ground on coral and frag farming in the Philippines, the first project of its kind which promises to have a huge impact on wild and aquarium reefs. Located inside the marine park of Lubang Island in Mindoro, the 4 Star Coral Farm was actually the brainchild of local officials and undertaken by RVS Fishworld.
RVS Fishworld is a familiar enterprise, owned and operated by Barnett Shutman and it has been a source of many exotic fish across our pages like the Neptune Grouper, Japanese swallowtail angelfish, arrowhead soapfish, Sacura speciosa and Liopropoma lunulatum. What RVS has done for many coveted species of rare reef fish we hope they will do for unknown corals of the Philippines.
Being that the Philippines are right smack in the middle of the center of biodiversity of marine life, how ironic is it that such a huge portion of marine aquarium fish are collected in the Philippines yet we know next to nothing as aquarists about the types of corals that are found there. But not so fast!
The RVS 4 Star Mariculture Coral Farm is primarily a coral restoration effort with 70% of the corals produced earmarked for local reef restoration. With the recent grounding of the USS Guardian on Tubbataha Reef, it is more important than ever for coral farming efforts like these to exist to restore reefs that have been damaged by natural disasters and manmade damage.
With corals only recently being planted on the reef, it will be several months still until these are turned into broodstock to produce more frags for a 100% maricultured product that doesn’t have any impact on the reef. Furthermore, the RVS 4 Star Coral Farm is a commercial operation but with a 70/30 split between restoration and aquarium corals, like Tom’s shoes or the OLPC project, when you buy one of theses Philippino corals you will be directly contributing to putting not one but two corals back on the reef.
There are so many species and such rich ecosystems and reef habitats in the Philippines, it is literally, and evolutionarily, at the epicenter of biodiversity for so much reef life on this planet. We are ecstatic to learn that the corals of the Philippines will be preserved first through restoration efforts and that the commercially produced corals from this project will go towards reseeding wild reefs.
RVS still expects that it will take at least one year for corals to be available to the aquarium market but with their unique central location in the coral triangle we believe that there will be a huge influx of unknown corals eventually coming from the 4 Star Coral Farm. We wish Barnett and the whole RVS staff the best of luck in this endeavor and we will be sure to keep the aquarium world abreast of this very exciting enterprise in the heart of the coral triangle.