We like to promote the marine aquarium industry, and particularly the export of tropical marine fish, as a force for sustainable harvest of marine fish, sometimes undertaken by tight knit families living in coastal island communities. Nowhere is all of this more true than in Mauritius, where the ‘Gurroby Clan’ has been practicing the net collection of high quality reef fish from the Western Indian Ocean for years.
Ornamental Marine World Mauritius is a small, family-run business that has been responsible for virtually all of the Mauritius fish-related news that we’ve written about profusely over the years. Exciting Mauritius marine aquarium fish such as the endemic flasher wrasse, zebra tang, gem tang, gem tang hybrids, unknown sleeper gobies, viviene leopard wrasse, Xanthomos pencil wrasse, tiger damsels, picasso triggerfish and many more are solely the results of the Gurroby family through Ornamental Marine World Mauritius.
A new video released today by Ornamental Marine World Mauritius shows the company’s family-run business, from fish collection to handling, acclimation, feeding, equipment and water testing. This may seem like rather banal stuff, but the thought that the Gurrobys are collecting and handling fish on the other side of the world from us, using high end equipment from Schuran and Abyzz, testing their water with Salifert test kits and all the familiar things that we reefers are used to, well that just tickles our fancy.
We’ve personally visited the Gurroby family in Mauritius and even collected a couple of gem tangs with them. What struck us the most is how little gear the fish collectors use to actually go diving; despite having no formal training and using the most basic diving rig consisting of an air tank simply strapped to their backs, these guys are some of the best divers we’ve ever dived with and they manage to collect enough to provide for themselves and their families.
The video includes no voice over, but it instead uses a unique first person style point of view video that succeeds in demonstrating that they are real people, on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, basically doing the same things with live fish on a small commercial scale, that us saltwater reef keepers do on a daily basis. The marine aquarium hobby and industry gives a lot of lip service to “short supply chains” and sustainable collections and the best part of this video is that it demonstrates those principles playing out near the reefs right where it counts, with people who are just trying to provide for themselves while also being good stewards of their environment.