Leading the aquatics industry by challenging all participants to support our efforts in achieving our long-term goal to offer only aquacultured saltwater aquatic life.
Hi. I am Todd Gwynn and I'm on the Aquatic Life Team at Petco. Like many of you, I fell in love with salt water fish at a young age. I was fascinated watching my fish swim around the aquarium. It was fun and exciting, but it also taught me the importance of keeping my fish healthy. Even then it made me want to learn more about the oceans and coral reefs where my fish came from. Today I'm here with Dan Thornhill, Conservation Scientist for Defenders of Wildlife to talk about an important initiative we're working on to improve the health of coral reefs around the world. That's right. But unlike Todd here, most people probably don't think about where their fish come from before they arrive at their local pet store. The truth is, if you've purchased a saltwater fish from any pet retailer, it was probably collected from the ocean and may have been caught in ways that can harm our oceans and the fish collected or left behind. For example, some unscrupulous collectors have used cyanide to stun fish and make them easier to catch. This practice can kill both corals and fish. It can also weaken the fish they collect, making it more difficult for them to survive on their way to the pet store. Over collection has diminished populations of Banggai cardinalfish, clownfish, giant anemones, Mandarin fish, and certain corals. That's exactly why we're here today. Petco and Defenders of Wildlife want to stop harmful practices and ensure that we obtain aquatic life by using only safe and sustainable collection methods. Petco is committed to increasing the amount of aquaculture marine life that is available to our customers. Hold on, Todd. Let's explain what aquicultured means. Great idea, Dan. Aquacultured fish are bred, born, and raised in an aquarium environment and are not collected from our oceans. Today more than 95% of all the aquatic life that we sell at Petco are aquacultured. But most of the salt water fish sold worldwide today, even in our stores are still collected from the ocean. So at Petco we're doing some things to help. We're supporting scientific research and working with our suppliers to aquaculture additional species. And we're collaborating with Defenders of Wildlife to promote more sustainable fish collection methods and set an example for other pet retailers to follow. Making these changes, we'll decrease the harm done to coral reefs. We're also helping that go identify and protect fish that are more vulnerable to over collection or that may be too difficult to keep in a home aquarium. So how can you help? When you buy your pet fish, ask where it came from and purchase aquacultured fish and corals whenever possible. For example, choosing aquacultured clownfish and Banggai cardinalfish gives wild populations the opportunity to recover. And please support Petco and Defenders of Wildlife and our efforts to conserve coral reefs and the fish that live in them. Working together, we can make a difference.