December was another good month for Clownfish breeding, with 3 batches of Clark’s and 1 batch of Maldivian Clownfish successfully reared.
We have finished the year with a record 723 Clownfish reared in our laboratory, on the way to our long-term goal to produce 100 fish per month. We hope to start looking for prospective local buyers or even apply for an export licence.
Our improved success has come largely from the plankton S-presso enrichment (newly available in 2018), the frozen Mysis (zooplankton) food, the water quality, and of course there’s been a lot of care and love from Aku and Carla, our aquaculture experts. 😊
Clownfish Release Programme
During 2018, we attempted several Clownfish releases with the help of our Four Seasons apprentices during their Marine Biology training. In two years, 92 clownfish were released onto the House Reef, into 26 anemones (6 created from bisection, 19 relocated, 1 in situ). The re-introduction of Clownfish was considered successful if the fish and the anemone survived more than 4 months without a protective cage and without leaving the site.
Of the 12 release experiments, only one showed a good level of success, by using a wild reef anemone for the introduction of our lab reared juvenile Clownfish (3cm long). The fish survived and grew in size over several months, but the limit of this method is finding the wild inhabited anemones living on the reef. In one of our other experiments, a hand-bisected anemone lost the Clownfish juveniles, but continues to grow more than one year on, and is now naturally recruiting other damsel and anemonefish.
Live food production
During 2018, we have produced 11,000L of microalgae, 5000L of adult Artemii and 580L of Rotifers.
The graphs below represent statistics for 2018, including production of live foods and total lab-reared Clownfish (compared to other years).
AC = Amphiprion clarkii = Clark’s anemonefish or “Yellowtail clownfish”.
AN = Amphiprion nigripes = Maldivian anemonefish or “Blackfooted clownfish”.