Currently, as many as 30 million coral reef fish belonging to 1,000 species are collected annually to supply private and public aquaria around the world. In addition, over 100 species of invertebrate are used, involving hundreds of thousands or even millions of individuals. The majority of these specimens come from coral reefs and associated habitats, with about 45 countries supplying the ornamental market. Considering the many pressures currently faced by reefs it is vital that ornamental fisheries are investigated and monitored, and management strategies formulated to ensure they are sustainable. This requires research, monitoring, training, use of non-damaging collecting methods and adoption of conservation strategies for controlling catch, such as reserves, quotas and closed seasons. There are also a number of possibilities for enhancing the fishery, such as mariculture and construction of artificial reefs. This paper concentrates on some of the conservation measures that can be taken and discusses their application and effectiveness. Such measures include limiting collecting effort, establishment of species-based or overall quotas, restrictions on rare and/or endemic species, temporary closures and establishment of fisherybreak reserves.
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