The Institute of Oceanography in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam has successfully bred the clownfish as part of a two-year project valued at VND1.8 billion (US$77,600).
This is the first time the clownfish, a.k.a. Amphiprion ocellaris, has been bred in Vietnam, said Ho Son Lam, an official from the Institute of Oceanography.
The breeding of the fish is part of a VND1.8 billion project on the commercial development of the clownfish, which was approved by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology for implementation between 2021 and 2022.
|Clownfish are raised in a tank at the Institute of Oceanography in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre|
The project is aimed at replacing the wild-caught clownfish and preventing the degradation of the ecosystem, as a preparation for the export of clownfish to such markets as mainland China, the U.S., Taiwan, and Europe in the future.
“About 3,000-5,000 clownfish are caught from Vietnam's Truong Sa [Spratly] archipelago between March and May each year,” Lam elaborated.
“The natural clownfish have beautiful colors and large sizes, but they have a low level of adaptability to captive environments such as aquariums.”
They are also susceptible to diseases and at a high risk of mortality due to cyanide fishing.
|A mutant clownfish with rare colors at the Institute of Oceanography in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre|
Meanwhile, the artificially produced clownfish have high survivability and adaptability, Lam stated, adding that the supply of these fish is stable all year round in terms of quantity and quality.
The bred clownfish can be sold to the market when they are about three to five centimeters long, and can reproduce when they reach six centimeters long.
“Within the framework of this project, which started in March 2021, we were able to breed three clownfish varieties, namely mocha storm, frostbite, and snowflake,” Lam said.
The mocha storm clownfish currently sell for up to VND1.7 million ($73) per fish.
|Clownfish bred at the Institute of Oceanography in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre|
Among the 6,000 clownfish that were recently bred at the Institute of Oceanography, there are many mutations with rare colors.
The regular clownfish sell for about VND40,000 ($1.7) per fish, while the mutant ones are offered at VND300,000 ($13) to VND1 million ($43) apiece.
|A clownfish has its length measured at the Institute of Oceanography in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Photo: Minh Chien / Tuoi Tre|