Coral Frag Trading: A Hobby Moving Toward Preserving Marine Life

The hobby of "reef aquarium husbandry" has been around for almost five decades now since a man name Paul Baldassano (a.k.a. Paul B amongst aquarists circles), Author of the book, The Avant-Garde Marine Aquarist (A 60-year history of fish keeping) (Published by Saltwater Smarts on October 15, 2015), started maintaining saltwater aquariums in his own home in 1971. From then on, the hobby has picked up amongst hobbyist from different walks of life in different parts of the world. While the industry of coral fragment trading started to make waves in the early 1980s.

In 1956, the Aquariums des Lagons in ouméa, in New Caledonia started to propagate corals "off-site" in attempts to preserve and protect endangered species, a variety of breeds of plants and animals outside its natural habitat. Within that same time, hobbyists from Germany already started creating "mini-reefs" in their own homes. By the 1960s commercial coral propagation started in America. In 2009, the US government awarded $3.3M for a project aimed to propagate 5000 colonies of a particular specie of coral, the project aims to transplant 35 colonies a year with the goal of restoring coral populations in levels similar to that in the 1970s within a 10-year period.

Now, the business of coral frag trading has not only become a lucrative trade for hobbyists but it has also become instrumental in the preservation and propagation of various species of aquatic plants and animals. Advanced hobbyists and traders have even been instrumental in the propagation of exotic or rare species of corals and aquatic wildlife, which have dwindled in numbers in recent years. Coral frag traders are now enlightened on the recent decrease in coral and aquatic wildlife populations and have shown concern in following sustainable trading practices to help maintain a healthy number of aquatic wildlife in our ecosystem. Some online aquatic hobbyist groups have even discouraged other hobbyists from disposing of their excess coral fragments, as it was found out that some hobbyists tend to dispose of their excess corals for reasons like: having samples that have outgrown their indoor habitats, having the need to kill off their corals to reclaim their live rock, hobbyists growing tired of their current lot of corals, or just having too much of them in their indoor aquariums.

There are also hobbyist groups and organizations that have even involved themselves in reporting or accosting coral traders who engage in illegal practices like poaching. Hobbyist groups are now even encouraging "coral frag swapping" or exchanging coral species in their collection with other hobbyists who are looking for a particular specie to add to their own personal collection just for the sake of discouraging frag traders and hobbyist from over-stocking of a particular coral specie. Hobbyists, organizations, and traders alike have even organized "Frag Swapping" events to teach fellow hobbyists and traders on sustainable coral frag trading as well as help spread the word on the preservation and propagation of the various species of aquatic wildlife and vegetation while engaging in this particular hobby that they love so dearly.

That’s why was created. We hope you enjoy this site as much as we do. Please help conserve the ocean corals and keep swapping amongst yourselves!