Aquarium Sciences and Conservation

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 13–24

The U.S. Wholesale Market for Marine Ornamentals

  • Sherry L. Larkin
  • Robert L. Degner

DOI: 10.1023/A:1011329300967

Cite this article as:
Larkin, S.L. & Degner, R.L. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation (2001) 3: 13. doi:10.1023/A:1011329300967


The market for marine ornamentals encompasses all live marine species (fish and invertebrates) destined for the aquarium trade. In 1998, U.S. imports and exports were valued at approximately US $1.5 billion at the border (all dollar values cited in this paper are $US). In Florida, cultured freshwater and collected saltwater species accounted for $70 million and $4 million, respectively, in annual dockside revenue. To help explain Florida's marine landings and provide suggestions for future resource management and market campaigns that reflect the perceptions of the industry, a survey of wholesalers was initiated in 1999. Preliminary results indicate that there are several intermediate wholesale markets. Florida firms are closer to the supply as many also collect. Wholesalers in other states handle more freshwater product, are larger, and tend to import a larger share of their inventory. Consolidation is expected to continue, but niche markets for eco-friendly firms are expected to grow. In Florida, marketing strategies should focus on the observed higher survival rates and increasing supply of the popular invertebrate species. Many wholesalers are concerned about additional regulations that could reduce the number of collectors and thereby increase supply variability, a noted weakness of the Florida industry.

aquatic invertebrates saltwater fish survey tropical fish live rock 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherry L. Larkin
    • 1
  • Robert L. Degner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food And Resource Economics, Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesUniversity Of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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