This weekend we learned the sad news that Route 66 Marine, a pioneer in coral-specific wholesaling, has closed its doors for business. The news came as a big surprise to those who knew Eric Camaano well, and to the many customers around the country who have relied on Route to ship them top-quality aquarium corals from all over the world.
It’s no secret that the marine aquarium business is a tough and rapidly changing one. With the hobby growing fast and the ways in which coral sellers reach their customers changing even faster, a multitude of reasons led to a challenging environment for Route 66 Marine to operate a purely coral dealing operation. While Route 66 will be missed, they created a blueprint for wholesale coral handling that is used by many companies around the world.
Rather than delving into why Route 66 Marine shut down, we’d rather celebrate the rich history of corals, and coral stories, that we’ve had the pleasure of sharing, courtesy of the efforts of Route 66 and the many people who’ve worked there since 2009. Without even knowing it, many of you might have corals in your tank that may have passed through the hands of the primary reefers of Route 66.
Route 66’s history reaches much deeper in the past with Eric Camaano being the O.G. Frag Farmer in the early 2000s, inheriting a fabulous coral catalog from Shawn Bennett that stretches back even longer. Here’s a brief recap of some of our favorite corals and coral stories that we know came from Route 66, and here’s to wishing Mr. Camaano and his staff all the best for the future.