We are Passionate About Growing Sustainable Corals

About RareFish Marines (Pty) Ltd

RareFish is the South African representative of D-D The Aquarium Solution; a well-recognized and respected supplier of specialist aquarium equipment. This relationship brings to the country such iconic brands as RowaClariSea and PolypLab.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, RareFish also provides an independent, full-service marine-livestock facility that allows us to import, stabilize and quarantine marine livestock for the retail market. Using global best practice techniques we strive hard for zero fatalities on arrival and thereafter follow a quarantine protocol which ensures that only healthy specimens are available for sale. 

Reef-keeping is becoming ever more mainstream with advances in both animal-husbandry techniques and the availability of off-the-shelf marine-aquarium solutions. This has driven a demand for marine organisms at a time when reefs around the world are under enormous pressure from climate change, pollution, and overfishing.

RareFish challenges all those involved in reef-keeping to accept their responsibility in bringing sustainability to this extraordinary hobby otherwise it may not be available to us in the future.

About Simon

Simon Hudson-Peacock is the founder and managing director of RareFish. He is a hobbyist-turned-marine-aquarium-expert. Drawing on his 15 years of aquarium experience, he has created an ecologically responsible marine-livestock business.

‘I am motivated to try and bring some sustainability into an industry that is largely insensitive to the fortunes of marine organisms and primarily driven by ancillary sales of equipment, food preparations, chemicals, and bottled elixirs.
‘Having scuba-dived on some of the world’s most extraordinary coral reefs I have witnessed at first hand how very fragile these ecosystems are. This has motivated me in setting up RareFish to be primarily interested in the welfare of the livestock.  Tell any dive shop that you have a reef aquarium at home and you will be looked at as though you’ve confessed to a heinous crime. It shouldn’t be like that, so much can be learned through this hobby.’

Simon strongly believes that conflicts between the hobby and reef can be mitigated through sustainable practices such as aquaculture and artificial coral propagation techniques, and he is determined to support such practices through RareFish initiatives that will ultimately benefit all parties.

“If, as is supposed, only one organism in ten makes the journey successfully from the reef to the aquarium then conversely every single cultured organism will save nine. Propagate one hundred organisms and theoretically nine hundred can be left on the natural reef.  One can easily see how small efforts can make a big difference.”

Our Approach to Livestock

When livestock eventually arrives at our premises it is certainly stressed and often in a poor condition. It has travelled considerable distance in a confined space, experiencing all manner of environmental challenges, to get to us. The process of acclimatisation on arrival is absolutely critical for survival.

RareFish prides itself on a robust receiving protocol that has been developed with the advice and input of SeaChem Laboratories in the US.  On arrival, all livestock undergoes a slow and sensitive acclimation process during which they are treated for stress.

Thereafter they are quarantined for a period of not less than 2 weeks during which they are monitored for signs of disease or evidence of parasitic infection.  Should either disease or parasitic infection become apparent then a suitable course of treatment is followed accordingly.

Most fatalities occur within the first few days of arrival, a result of the fragile state of health related to the stress of the journey from the reef to our premises.

RareFish believes that it is in the best interests of our livestock that they be allowed to regain their strength before they have to make the final journey to your aquarium.  Only when the organisms are tank acclimated, feeding and free of disease and parasites are they presented for sale.

Please contact us for livestock orders or confirmation of livestock currently available. Tel: +27 (0)83 231 6830 Email: simon@rarefish.co.za

About the Rarefish Logo

The RareFish logo is a depiction of the Bangai Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni). This iconic fish has been intensively harvested for the aquarium trade in its extremely limited and tiny geographic range in Indonesia. Some estimates are that only 10% or less of the original population survive in the wild. It is listed by the IUCN as “endangered”.

The Bangai Cardinal is a mouth-brooder, ironically making it one of the easiest fish to propagate artificially, but regional poverty and a lack of alternative employment opportunities continues to drive its depletion in the wild. Encouragingly, the retail price of aqua-cultured specimens is approaching that of those caught in their natural habitat. Thanks to educational initiatives, such as The Bangai Rescue Project, techniques for captive care and breeding are widely shared and freely available. There is no longer any reason why a hobbyist should choose a wild-caught specimen, and the natural population may indeed recover.