Native species exploited by marine aquarium trade in Brazil

Abstract: Brazil has an important role in marine ornamental trade, exploiting native species for both international and domestic market. A few works have previously assessed wild species exploited by the Brazilian marine aquarium industry and most of them focused solely on fish. Hence, the present paper intends to address an information gap regarding the species currently traded in the country, as well as concerning their conservation statuses. Thus, different sources of information were investigated and each species was categorized in accordance with existing lists of threatened species. A wide variety of native species was identified in Brazilian marine aquarium trade, including not only fish but also invertebrates, seaweeds and macrophytes. Some of these species were legally protected, but are still commerced anyway. Such illegal exploitation of native species causes increasing concerns about the sustainability of the activity. Therefore, in order to reduce environmental impacts caused by marine ornamental trade, Brazilian authorities should encourage the implementation of eco-fees, the purchase of eco-labeled aquarium products, the development of sustainable ornamental aquaculture and ecosystem-based management initiatives.