My first exposure to the Marine Aquarium hobby was in the mid-1980's. Back then, undergravel filters and incandescent lights were the norm. Protein skimmers and "Live" rock were all the rage. At that time the only information available was found in a few books at the local library and, if you were lucky, a knowledgleable employee at a local fish store. Anyone that could keep a coral alive for more than a week or two was considered an expert! Little did I know that others were already hard at work on figuring out the protocols for captive breeding of marine fishes.
I was also fortunate enough to visit Hawaii several times during the late 80's and early 90's. That gave me a unique appreciation of coral reefs and their inhabitants.
Fast forward to 2006, I was drawn back into the hobby and was overwhelmed by the amount of information that was available due to the internet. The advancements that had been made over the years were astounding! Not only were we able to keep Corals alive indefinately, we had learned how to propagate them. I found that we had also learned how to do the same with Fish!
Unfortunately, while finding all of this new information, I also found out about many negative things that are impacting not only the hobby, but the oceans at large. Environmental changes and unsustainable collection practices are having a Huge impact on reefs worldwide.
It was after hearing Frank Marini speak at the Midwest Marine Conference in early 2008 about the concept of captive breeding that I realized that something needed to be done and that it was possible for the average person to do.
When I got home from the Conference I immediately began my research.
Later that year I attended MACNA in Atlanta and was able to hear, and speak with, Matt Wittenrich and Eric Borneman about the plight of the Banggai Cardinalfish. It was at that moment that I realized I was on the right track.
Since then I have become a local producer of several marine species, helped create the Marine Breeding Initiative and hosted three Marine Breeder's Workshops. I strive to learn everything I can and share it with others in an effort to promote captive breeding.