IUCN FFSG Home Aquarium Fish Sub-Group

About The IUCN FFSG Home Aquarium Fish Sub-Group (HAFSG)


Photo credit: Vincent DiDuca

For decades home aquarium fish have been collected from regions of biological importance across the globe. The vast majority of the organisms in the home aquarium trade are represented by freshwater species (90 percent). The home aquarium fish trade is a large international market responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars annually in revenue for businesses. Although the majority of freshwater aquarium specimens are captive cultured, there are still fishing communities residing in areas of biological importance that capture and export fishes for the global trade. These fisheries are a powerful driver of the local economies and environmental protectionism in regions where their collection takes place.

These fisheries face many pressing issues, including:

• Market competition from Ex-situ fish farms
• Public perception pressure on the industry to shift to captive bred stock
• Decline in recruitment of new fish hobbyists and a disconnection with millennials
• Increasing regulations on the importation of wild captured fishes
• The need to implement Best Handling Practices for wild caught fishes to maximize value and market competitiveness and minimize fish stress
• The need to develop marketing framework to highlight socioeconomic and environmental benefits of wild caught fishes
• The need for solutions that benefit the environment to address unsustainable or destructive practices
• The need to establish fair and equitable distribution of economic benefits

The Home Aquarium Fish Sub-Group was formed recently with several goals including:

– To identify, validate, and promote the conservation and wise management of wild populations of tropical fishes that are part of the home aquarium trade, as well as the ecosystems where they are found
– To support sustainable, socioeconomic, and environmental benefits for home aquarium fishing communities, especially living in regions of biological importance
– To develop and implement solutions that result in the most robust market for home aquarium fish that result in environmental protectionism, poverty alleviation, and climate stability.

To learn more read this first report:



You can also visit the IUCN FFSG website:  www.iucnffsg.org/