World Oceans (95)

World Oceans Day 2018 | Beat Plastic Pollution

This year’s world oceans day was marked with call to action for ocean protection especially against the threat of plastics. Guided by the theme, “Preventing Plastic Pollution and encouraging solutions for a Healthy Ocean,” we took to our shoreline along Kanamai-kikambala for a beach clean up exercise.

 

Being exporters of ornamental tropical marine fish & invertebrates, we are highly dependent on the Indian Ocean as our fish source and therefore it is vital that we help conserve it and the entire ecosystem. Our oceans increasingly face numerous threats such as climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, unsustainable and destructive fishing practices and the lack of capacities to address these threats. Aside from depending on it for or livelihood, we are committed to helping implement the Sustainable Development Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

 

Our team was super ecstatic about the clean up exercise; a day at the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

The waste we came across included  plastics, lots of shoes (made of bothrubber and plastic) cardboards and glass. Of the three, plastics pose the greatest threat to oceans because of our poor waste management habits. Plastics are washed by runoff to the ocean thereby polluting our marine ecosystem. A recycling framework is needed in order  to prevent plastic pollution in the ocean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are glad that we were also able to engage our  local community in the cleanup exercise helping mop up plastics from the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In just a short stretch of the beach, we were able to collect bags upon bags of plastic litter, evidence of the much bigger problem i.e. poor waste management.

 

 

 

 

Going forward, we must continue to promote sustainable use of oceans even as we continue to use safe traditional fishing methods to collect our ornamental fish.  Our collective resolve together with or stakeholders should aim at finding solutions to common problems. We can ensure that our oceans are peaceful, safe and bountiful, and remain healthy as our blue home.

cleaner wrasse

Bi-weekly special offer: Cleaner wrasses

The five species of cleaner wrasses of the genus Labroides are truly an interesting group of fish. While not a unique behavior in the underwater world, their pathogenic cleaning service is quite remarkable.

 

 

The typical cleaner wrasse makes its living by nibbling parasites off other fish. A wrasse hangs out at an established “station” on a reef that other fish visit for cleaning. By eating the parasites, the wrasse gets a meal and the client gets a clean bill of health. Everyone leaves happy!

 

 

The wrasses in their ‘stations’ clean parasites, dead and damaged scales, and mucus from bony fishes, sharks, and sea turtles that present themselves for cleaning. A number of scientific studies and research attest to the important role these fish play in the health of the reefs. The overall health, size, and even diversity of fishes is greater in the reefs where cleaner wrasses are found versus those without their services.

 

 

Where cleaner wrasses are absent, resident fishes were 37% less abundant and 23% less species rich per reef, compared to control reefs, juveniles of visitors (fish likely to move between reefs) were 65% less abundant on removal reefs suggesting cleaners may also affect recruitment. This may, in part, explain the 23% lower abundance and 33% lower species richness of visitor fishes, and 66% lower abundance of visitor herbivores (Acanthuridae) on removal reefs that were also observed. ( Waldie PA, Blomberg SP, Cheney KL, Goldizen AW, Grutter AS (2011) Long-Term Effects of the Cleaner Fish Labroides dimidiatus on Coral Reef Fish Communities.)

 

 

This beneficial behavior is continued in captivity as well. While not to be completely relied upon over quarantine and proper conditioning, wrasse cleaning services can and does help in keeping other fishes healthy in our care. Numerous benefits from cleaner fish services have been documented, besides the obvious upside of removing parasites.

 

 

Cleaner fish also remove dead and damaged scales which are easy attachment points for some pathogens, stimulating mucus production, the first line of fish immune system defense, as well as the therapeutic affect of “it just feels good” much like we humans enjoy a back rub. The other fish benefiting from these services can be seen in dealer’s tanks when a new cleaner wrasse is added, fish will literally line up to await this service.

 

 

Cleaner wrasses are by no means an easy fish, but in the proper circumstances can be well cared for relatively easily, in some cases living over 10 years in captivity. Much of their perceived difficulty is related to the fact that they are obligate cleaners.Cleaning behavior can be classified two ways: facultative cleaning and obligate cleaning. Facultative cleaners provide this service on occasion or perhaps during a limited stage in it’s life but then stops as it grows. Juvenile angelfish, butterflyfish and many wrasses for example example, as young fish they provide this fish cleaning service, but prefer other food sources and stop entirely as adults.

 

 

Obligate cleaners need, or are obligated, to clean as nearly all of their nutrition is met this way.

 

Another reason for their perceived difficulty exists simply because of the service that they provide. Hobbyists may add cleaners in tanks with fish suffering from terrible disease, often ich or marine velvet, as a solution. However, such conditions would be fatal to just about any fish, even perceived hardy fish – cleaner wrasses.

 

 

That is not to say that if any tank is cycled and healthy a cleaner wrasse would be an appropriate choice, but rather in the proper setting these wonderful fish can be a beneficial addition. But what is the proper setting? Remember, they need to get much of their nutrition through cleaning client fish.

 

Captive bred cleaner wrasses such as these may one day be able to supply the demand from the aquarium hobby. In the wild they may clean hundreds, in some exceptional cases, thousands of fish a day. Most home aquariums come nowhere near these numbers, and if there are too few fish a cleaner wrasse can make a pest of itself in trying to force it’s service on unwilling participants.

 

 

In the obligate success stories the tank was usually a larger system, 150g or more and was heavily stocked with large fishes. The bigger the tank and the more potential clients the better. And while quarantine is best practice for any fish in aquarist care, cleaner wrasses most definitely contribute to the overall good health and well-being to fish in an appropriately sized setting.

 

The behavior of these unique fish is truly something to marvel at, and as a community that enjoys the natural aquatic world we as hobbyists want to afford these magnificent creatures the dignity they deserve and only add them where we are able to meet their specific needs.

kenya marine center interzoo (2)

Focus on Interzoo: Why we attend

Undoubtedly the world’s largest pet trade fair is underway in Nuremberg, Germany hosting thousands upon thousands of stakeholders in the pet industry. We are not missing out on the action either because we believe trade fairs offer us an incredible advantage of being able to connect in person with our customers as well suppliers of products and services valuable to us. But just how is Interzoo valuable?!

 

Interzoo Day 1

Day one of Interzoo was a buzz! We will be here till the 11th May! If you're around and would like to meet us, send an email to jochen@kenyamarinecenter.com or message us on Facebook. We'd love to meet as many people as possible 🙂 – Nürnberg Messe

Posted by Kenya Marine Center on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

 

Diversifying into new markets

Interzoo thrusts you into a world filled with producers of products, suppliers, distributors, pet enthusiasts; name it! You want it; Interzoo trade fair has got it. The diversity with which this trade fair brings provides many an opportunity to explore and gather knowledge on new fields and markets they would probably be considering delving in. You also get on-ground information and statistics from people; let’s say you want to delve into a new country, Interzoo has many nations worldwide well represented and would be easier to gather information you need on ground and in person. You should also be on the lookout for possible business gains by visiting other booths. Trade fairs are the easiest way to do market research and you may be able to hook up with other entrepreneurs to expand your business.

 

 

Customer Relation

If trade fairs don’t bring you any closer to your customers, we don’t know what will?! The pet industry being an international, multicultural industry is made up of stakeholders set up in different time zones making it difficult to reach in person. However, Interzoo – under one roof gives you the access to thousands of customers and potential customers with whom you can amass opinions and feedback and be able to gauge your business’ impact in the market. Customers also get the opportunity to get the human connection with their suppliers and get their queries addressed in person. How valuable is that?! Did we also mention how many leads you get to generate?

 

 

Identifying Market trends to further adjust business

Trade fairs are not one-dimensional. Aside from display booths, there are various other programs that run concurrently with which you can use to assess the market trends and adjust your business accordingly; seminars conducted by experts in various fields as well as discussions of the latest innovations that may be applicable to your trade. Interzoo for instance, provides the opportunity to assess clients’ opinions, evaluate competition, check out new pet products and technologies, and determine market potential. One can as well as develop commercial structures through identifying new suppliers and distributors, and initiate joint ventures and/or project partnerships.

 

 

Meet & Greet

Finally, Trade fairs don’t have to be all business, all the time…years of the Interzoo have seen strange faces become well-known friends, and good relationships have been built up over the years through discussions and engaging at Interzoo; so in case you see us across your stand, say hello and lets connect!

It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who

like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my

It showed a lady fitted out with a fur hat and fur boa who

interzoo

10 Reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on aquarium related trade shows

Interzoo is right around the corner, and many are amped up for the event; and why not?! Whether you are a retailer, wholesaler or just generally an aquarium enthusiast attending this tradeshow gives you an opportunity to gain valuable experience & knowledge, lots of product exposure, meet suppliers, and lots more. Nothing beats the benefits that a tradeshow like Interzoo (and many other aquatic related tradeshows) has to offer in a short space of time.

 

Why Attend?

 

Trade shows serve as a very powerful marketing medium. You not only get to advertise to your target market but also create brand awareness to all significant industry players. As a visitor, you experience the entire industry specific to your interests under one roof. At one go, you can sample a wide array of products and suppliers, evaluate and compare services and products as well as get answers to questions you’d otherwise not get first hand.

 

Like in all business prospects, there will be some risk involved; such as the cost of covering your logistics for the whole event. We however think that the benefits over-weigh the risk and there can be a lot to gain from promoting your product in person within a different environment. This platform enables you to promote your product or service to a broader group that may have little or no knowledge of your products and services. You also get to branch out more in the B2B trading and grow your customer database.

 

Below is a summary of the benefits of attending a trade show.

 

  • Gain knowledge and exposure to new trends, products and resources that are available for your company. This is a great way to learn about what’s hot, what’s fading and what your company needs to have or do right now

 

  • Stimulate new ideas and creative ways to support your business despite the economy, past seasons and more. Where you will gain this knowledge is endless – your competition at the show, your general experience at the show and even your participation at the show will make an impact.

 

  • Meet other retailers and vendors who you can lean on, learn from and possibly gain business from that you would not have had the chance to meet had you not attended that trade show.

 

  • Learn what your competition is up to without having to go to great lengths since their business information will be easily accessible. Ask yourself how do you compare to your competition and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to best support your business.

 

  • Expose yourself to the press attending the trade shows so they know about your business – retail or wholesale. Make sure your business stands out so that they will remember you.

 

  • Generate leads for strategic alliances and most importantly, potential customers. Collect business cards, refer to the directory and use all other outlets provided to you during the show to create a list of contacts for your files – and your business outreach.

 

  • Participate in educational seminars, networking events and surveys that only take place at trade shows and will expose you to new people, new business and new ways of thinking for your business success.

 

  • Get answers right away, whether from a vendor or a retailer, since trade shows allow for immediate communication and easy, accessible outlets of exposure for both vendors and retailers.

 

  • Become educated on your industry so that you can better support your clients and customers by utilizing the entire resources trade shows offer.

 

  • Have fun. Yes – have fun. Nothing gives a business owner more energy than a good time while working to keep them motivated to want to work more!(retailminded.com)
kenya marine center packing bags

Packaging materials for live fish shipping – what do we use at Kenya Marine Center?!

Transportation of fish is a tender loving care process that is needed to ensure fish arrive safely and alive to their destinations. Tolerance of fish to transport is related to their ability to resist or adapt to stressful conditions.

 

The determinant of a successful shipment therefore lies in the packaging materials used; are the materials watertight, do they prevent rapid changes in temperature and will they withstand handling during shipping?! All the above measures should be considered when settling for shipping materials.

 

kenya marine center packing bags

 

A watertight element is most vital in placing the fish for transportation. The packing material should be of the best quality with the ability to withstand temperature changes and not susceptible to expanding at higher temperatures.

 

Fish bags are made of transparent polyethylene plastic and should be at least 3mil thick to withstand some abuse without leaking. Common “pillow slip” bags have a single bottom seal that creates sharp corners when filled with water. Small fish can sometimes become trapped in these corners during shipment and die. You can “square up” the corners by folding them up and taping them to the side of the bag (however this is much work and will take up time when packing large shipments).

 

 

Some bags have square bottoms so that they sit flat on the bottom of the box. Square-bottom bags are more expensive but have become standard in the industry because they do not trap fish in the corners and use the space in the box more fully. The packing bags are available in many sizes to cater for different fish sizes.

 

At Kenya Marine Center we use food grade quality polythene bags able to withstand friction and handling better than any other forms of bags. The fish contained cannot therefore rip or tear the plastic easily. We do realize however that, even the sturdiest bags can be punctured during shipping and so we double fish our bags to maintain the permeability. The rubber bands we use to seal the bags are also of great quality to avoid breakage when significantly stretched.

 

kenya marine center packing bags

 

We also should note that we take control of the quality of our bags by producing our own plastic bags through a reliable manufacturer. We therefore produce our bags with the gazette bottom shape for shipping fish to avoid losing fish that tend to stick at the corners of the bags. Our bags which are double sealed with the right thickness of plastic are produced up to about 0.6tons monthly.