MARINE BIOLOGY CLUB

Sustainability and growth in the industry of marine ornamental trade are two factors which are very essential. Kenya Marine Center; one of the largest exporters of marine ornaments in the world is affected by these two industry indicators, in order to ensure a healthy and reliable business environment we have to always advocated for sustainability in our business operations to foot for surety in business growth. Sustainability and growth are correlative giving a wide platform for measurements and observations. We have been in this industry for the 11 years exporting marine fish from the Indian Ocean (E.A) to most parts of the world and 2 years practicing offshore mariculture of soft corals. We have grown in size and in knowledge with an increasing clientele list importing the variety of marine ornaments in our stocks.

This impressive milestone is accomplished through a team of experienced, competent and aggressive marine biologists. This dedicated team conducts researches and apply varied innovations to ensure growth and development towards improving the quality of our marine fish and soft corals that we export to our clients.

Various successful experiments conducted by this team motivated them to start a marine biology club with the intentions of providing a knowledge base to share, learn and contribute to the emerging and important factors in the industry of marine ornamental trade.

This knowledge base will be focusing on influencing the trade of marine ornaments from a biological aspect. Several topics on marine biology have been discussed and expounded with most biologists working towards species developments and modifications. This club will not be disputing any work from any biologist but will be providing results of the researches and experiments done at Kenya Marine Center with our species.

Contributions: This marine biology club is an open group, which will appreciate various contributions from other marine biologists. As the intentions are very clear, this is a knowledge base and knowledge is universal and varied but opinions are personal and must be respected.

Some major topics that we shall be focusing on include:

Population Genetics of Marine Organisms.

A major contribution of population genetic studies to marine biology has been the identification of sibling or cryptic biological species within morphologically defined taxa.

Marine Organisms/species.

Research on specific marine species/organism evolution, their uniqueness etc.

Microplastics in Marine Food Web.

Although microplastics are a relatively new topic in the environmental sciences, researchers have been able to learn from the experimental approaches and understanding gleaned from the fields of ecotoxicology, marine biology, and aquatic chemistry.

Processes.

How do organisms in the marine environment move, get energy, or reproduce? How do they adapt to the stresses of their environment? How do they interact with each other? When we examine processes, we think about the physiology of an organism (i.e, how does it work?) as well as how that organism is similar to or different from other life in the ocean. This can advance our understanding of marine life.

Habitats and Ecosystems.

Marine life does not exist alone. It is part of a complex system of interactions with other organisms and the physical environment. Studying the ‘big picture’ through ecology or oceanography is a critical part of marine biology.

Changing Oceans.

The oceans are constantly changing due to the natural cycles of tides or seasons to longer-term changes in global climate. Humans influence change in the oceans as societal and economic forces drive what we take out of the ocean and what we put in. Marine Biologists have an important voice in decisions about conservation and marine policy.

LEAD BIOLOGIST
SOFT CORALS BIOLOGIST
MARINE FISH BIOLOGIST

JOIN THE CLUB:

https://mailchi.mp/533a90dfc385/marinebiologyclub

FACEBOOK PAGE:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kenyamarinebiologyclub/?source_id=117063915100000

Quality marine fish from Kenya Marine Center.

Most exporters of the ornamental fish value numbers, of course in the trade numbers make sense. However, there has been an observable increase in low quality due to the high competition to meet these high numbers. At Kenya Marine Center we value both but emphasize on quality because the latter influences the numbers. Here’s what we do to provide to you quality marine fish.

1: Fishing methods.

  • Traditional Fishing Method

Our traditional fishing ensures our fishers carefully select how and what they want .This causes less damage to the marine habitats where the fish live, Great care must be considered because the fish need to be alive and in good condition in order to travel around the world and must be healthy upon delivery.

 

  • Diving/ Snorkeling

Divers are restricted to hand picking and to using of hand nets to collect fish and corals.

  • Hand picking

This is usually for sedentary fish, starfish, crustaceans and sea cucumbers at the seashore.

2: Fishing equipment.

Right from the ocean to the aquariums, our fish are handled by the most proficient and modernized equipment operated by very well trained personnel. A lot of attention still has to be paid to the fish amid its transit from the ocean to our aquariums in order to lower the stress levels of the fish to avoid death and disease to the fish.

3: Transportation of the fish.

To promote sustainability, our practice is offshore. The aquariums are located 2KMS away from the ocean. After fishing, the fish are transported to the aquariums using our trucks fitted with the right storage tanks. During shipment, there are special designated trucks that are used to transport fish to the airport from where our airline agents take up to deliver to respective destinations.

4: Aquariums.

Practicing offshore is cost intensive and labor demanding, having qualified personnel who understand the interest of the marine fish is another great boost to our fish quality. Our aquariums are very modernized and maintained with a full length of proper servicing and water flow system for good air circulation and cooling of the aquariums.

5: Quarantine and treatment.

With the guidance of our marine biologist, the fish are checked and quarantined to keep it away from any possible parasites and diseases.

6: Shipment and delivery.

We do not just rely on shipping out a lot of numbers to the market but we emphasize on quality. DoA is a major issue to the industry and one of the underlying factors influencing it is irresponsible shipment and poor delivery procedures. Relying on our client’s reports, most of our marine fish arrive safe and in the expected condition. Even though at the beginning we had challenges with a lot of disappointing reports on DoA, after realizing how important it is to have a proper shipment and delivery system, the DoA reports have reduced and our fish quality is among the best in the world.

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Orders to: support@kenyamarinecenter.com

EXPORTATION OF ORNAMENTAL FISH: FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Exporters and importers of marine ornaments have different experiences regarding shipping issues, some are bad experiences and others might be good experiences. All these depend on a number of logistical and functional structures and procedures entrusted with these experiences.
Our experience as exporters of ornamental live fish, part of the job requirement is to meet industry standards of quality, and the best way to be sure of this is through effective and efficient reaction to customer’s needs.
Below are five shipping problems exporters of live fish experience and their solutions:

  • Arrival Tim

Shipping goods across an international platform requires attention and knowledge of different time zones in the world.
The best time in this case is the time the client is comfortable with receiving his shipment. However, the burden on the exporter is not only limited to finding a good flight solution but also finding the flight in itself can be a challenge. Most freight companies avoid shipping out live animals hence limited options.
Plan with the client and with the freight agents in time and advice the client in due time of the options available and the best way forward. Be in total control of communication from the time the shipment leaves your hands to the time the client receives it.

  • Shipping Capacity

Sometimes floodgates open and the sales and customer service desk receive a lot of buzz from prospective clients giving their orders. This is usually not a bad thing as it is always an exporters wish to have more clients. However, this can turn out to be an exporter’s nightmare if not carefully handled. As stated before, the problem lies with airlines that are not willing to undertake shipping of live animals. This can be a headache to an exporter, in bid to assure of perfect customer service.
Networking, good relations and conducting target-marketing strategies aimed at airlines. A good marketing team will ensure that you always find accommodation on all popular flights. Having a professional team around you will always yield results.

  • Size of Shipments

The size of shipment is a motivating factor to all exporters; large shipments are commerce friendly to the three parties; exporter, client and the freight company. The reverse for smaller shipments, the exporters is always advised to encourage the client to increase their size of shipment.

  • Poor handling of shipments

Upon receiving a shipment, every client expects their order to arrive in perfect condition, if not then a series of blame games might emerge and the freight company might incur other charges for damages. Repeated mistakes should me considered keenly and maybe a change of the involved freight company could be a better solution. It is upon to the best interest to provide excellent services as required by the client.

  • 100% fulfillment of all orders

The exporter should be at a position to deliver the order from a client; there is no fair grounds for this argument. Disappointments might erupt mistrusts and disloyal issues, which are very fundamental in this industry. Before a client orders any product from the stock-list, the exporter should be a position to notify the client any absentia from the stock-list. There is no necessity of allowing a client to order what you do not contain.

Samuel Life in Other Word

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

clean-up-crew

Consider These 6 Points Before Buying a Marine Aquarium Cleanup Crew

Marine aquarium cleanup crews (CUC)—those combo packs of various snails, crabs, and echinoderms sold for the purpose of algae control and detritus elimination—can serve an excellent utilitarian function in a saltwater system. What’s more, in addition to the janitorial duties they perform, many of these invertebrates are fascinating to observe in their own right and add yet another layer of enjoyment to the hobby.

Hermits crabs are a common saltwater aquarium cleanup crew member. Pictured is an Electric Blue Hermit (Calcinus elegans).

Hermits crabs are a common saltwater aquarium cleanup crew member. Pictured is an Electric Blue Hermit (Calcinus elegans).

However, any time you introduce livestock to an aquarium, there are compatibility issues, long-term care requirements, and other factors to think about. So, before investing your hard-earned dollars in any combination of critters to clean your aquarium, consider the following six points:

#1 Cleanup crews are just part of the solution

Cleaner organisms can certainly do their part to help keep irksome algae under control and scavenge uneaten food and detritus from those tight nooks and crannies, but they’re only part of the solution. You still have to do your part to minimize nutrient import and maximize its export by:

In other words, a cleanup crew is no substitute for good-old-fashioned “elbow grease.”

#2 Know what’s in the mix

Critter assemblages can vary considerably from one company’s cleanup crew to the next. Before committing to one, be sure to identify exactly which species are included in the package and thoroughly research their characteristics and care requirements—just as you would when adding a fish or coral to your tank. You want to verify that:

  • You can meet the long-term needs of all the species in the package.
  • All the species in the crew will be incompatible with your current livestock (e.g. they won’t eat valued specimens and your valued specimens won’t eat them) and are otherwise appropriate for your setup.
  • All members of the crew actually eat what they’re purported to eat.

#3 Ignore critter-per-gallon guidelines

Various retailers often recommend adding a certain number of snails, hermit crabs, etc. per gallon of tank capacity to keep algae in control. These types of rules are of little utility because what matters most to grazing and scavenging organisms is available real estate, not how many gallons of water the system can hold.

For example, if you have a 100-gallon aquarium that’s only sparsely aquascaped with live rockand you add 100 Astraea sp. snails to the system to control, say, an outbreak of diatoms. They’ll very quickly use up the available food supply and begin dying off.

A much better approach is to add a lower-than-recommended number of cleaner organisms to the tank and then observe their impact on the algae. You can always add more later on if necessary.

#4 Famine may follow feast

An Astraea snail moves across the glass while chowing down on algae.

An Astraea snail moves across the glass while chowing down on algae.

The scenario with the Astraea snails mentioned above is just one of many examples in which cleaner organisms end up eating themselves out of house and home. Another is Astropecten polycanthus, the sand-sifting starfish, which is often included in cleanup crew packages. This species does a great job of keeping an aquarium sand bed clean of detritus and uneaten food—along with any tiny organisms it happens to encounter in the sand.The trouble is, this starfish often does its job too well, consuming all the available microfauna in the sand bed and then gradually starving to death. This is often the outcome when this species is kept in small systems, it’s not provided an adequately deep sand bed, or the sand bed (regardless of its size and depth) simply doesn’t harbor an adequate population of microfauna.

#5 Crabs require caution

Various and sundry crabs, such as Clibanarius spp. hermit crabs and emerald crabs(Mithraculus sculptus), are also commonly included in cleanup-crew packages. But before adding any of these clawed critters to your system, be mindful that many of these crabs—even those that are largely considered herbivorous—are opportunistic omnivores that will sometimes decide to consume things we’d rather they didn’t.

For instance, it’s not unheard of for the ubiquitous blue-legged hermit crab (Clibanarius tricolor) to go rogue and feed on coral polyps and other small critters, including other members of the cleanup crew (i.e., snails). I can also attest from personal experience that M. sculptus is not entirely trustworthy around smaller fishes. One once sheared the entire anal fin and part of the caudal fin off a clownfish in my 75-gallon reef tank.

#6 Results will vary

As mentioned in the introduction to this post, cleanup crews can perform a very important function while providing additional interest. But keep in mind that these critter combos don’t always perform as well as advertised. Owing to factors such as the regular availability of alternate foods (e.g., fish food) in the system or the presence of excessive dissolved pollutants causing an especially intractable algae problem, these organisms may either completely ignore the items you want them to eat or make such a small dent in the problem that it’s hardly noticeable.

The bottom line is, a cleanup crew is just one part of the aquarium-maintenance picture. The rest is up to you!

 

Written by Jeff Kurtz

Photo Credits: Lucas Thompsonaquarist.me

Source: saltwatersmarts.com