View Full Version : What does "Pen-Raised" mean exactly?

08/25/2014, 01:46 PM
So I am trying to pick livestock for my new dual 75 gallon setup that are all either captive bred or harvested sustainably in an area with regulatory bodes I trust to make sure the fish are actually harvested sustainably. I came across this term: "Pen-Raised" a couple times and I don't really know what it means. Here (http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+1634+115&pcatid=115) is an example from Live Aquaria about "Pen-Raised" Blue-Green Chromis (look at the origin in the quick stats section). I've done my googling and searching here on RC but haven't found a satisfactory answer. Does anyone here know? I guess I can always email LA and ask what it means...

08/25/2014, 03:23 PM
I think it might mean there were pens in the ocean that were around a reef of breeding chromis maybe? I have no clue but that is just my guess?!

08/25/2014, 04:32 PM
NewReefer is right.

Under "fish farming"....there is cage farming.


That is far more sustainable than wild caught. However, I know farm raised Salmon are actually more toxic to the environment than wild caught. Alaska regulates very well.

08/26/2014, 09:26 AM
So somewhere in Africa or Indonesia there is a cage on the reef with a school of breeding chromis in it that are being fed by people and some are taken out periodically? Or maybe they aren't fed and pods and stuff just wash into the cage for the chromis to eat. Sounds more sustainable than just catching a bunch because at least you they aren't fishing wild brood stock outside of the cage. I'll ask LA what it means and post back their answer here.

08/27/2014, 09:03 AM
My guess (strictly that) is that it's the equivalent to maricultured corals. Maricultured means the coral colony was taken from the ocean then "raised" in a facility that is outside and uses the ocean as a water source. So you can think of it as a pen-raised coral. It wasn't raised indoors under artificial light using a controlled water source. I'm guessing a pen-raised fish is the equivalent. Whether or not its more sustainable or eco-friendly is probably dependent on the individual supplier and is probably more a green marketing term.

08/28/2014, 11:52 AM
So I emailed LA about it and here was their reply:

LA: In regards to your inquiry on pen-raised specimen, when a specimen is pen-raised, it is raised in a pen with natural sea water. The specimen we carry are collected with specimen containers.

Me: So please correct me if I am wrong. This is what I understand it means for
a fish to be pen-raised:
Small fish are collected in the traditional way and placed in a pen in the ocean. They are then allowed to grow in the pen before being shipped to your facility and sold.
Is this correct? Or are the fish actually born within the pen, so that the fish's life cycle is completed within the pen in the ocean?
It seems to me that if the fish are collected in the traditional way and then simply put in a pen in the ocean for a while, there isn't much difference between a "pen-raised" fish and a wild-caught fish. However, if the "pen-raised" fish are actually born within the pen, or are collected from the wild pre-settlement and then placed in a pen, I see a big difference between this method and wild-caught fish.
Please clarify this for me.

LA: The pen-raised are born in captivity and wild caught are collected from the oceans and then placed in captivity.

So according to LA, pen-raised fish are hatched in captivity. They didn't specify whether they are hatched in the pens in the ocean or hatched in aquaria and then placed in pens in the ocean so they are easy to raise. Either way, this sounds much more sustainable than catching adults from the wild.

08/28/2014, 06:47 PM
With farm raised iguanas, they dig a pit and catch a bunch of gravid females and put them in the pit. After the eggs were laid, the adults were released- and the resulting babies were sold as "captive" or "farm raised". I found this offensive since my breeding facility was the first to succesfully captive breed green iguanas indoors! This experience was 20 years ago- so things may have changed with what is done-but I would imagine that the pen raised fish is similar. Catch a bunch of adults and when the fry hatch sell the adults as wild caughts and "raise" the babies as "pen raised" or CB.

When you think about it, it wasnt good for the iguanas- it ment 100% of the offspring was able to be captured, so to speak. If the fish are in pens in the ocean-and thats the extent of their captivity, the same would be true in this case.

08/29/2014, 02:40 PM
True, but it is still better for the population than taking adults. Sure you capture all the young from the adults you catch this season, but those same adults can reproduce again next season. And even if they sell those adults as wild-caught and the babies as pen-raised, that's still fewer breeding adults taken out of the population per fish entering out hobby's market. It isn't perfect, but it is certainly better than wild-caught.

09/12/2014, 10:56 AM
I saw a documentary on farm raised prawns from China (for food)...and let me tell you, you would never eat another. I am sure pen-raised can vary greatly in quality and care.

09/12/2014, 11:37 AM
I saw a documentary on farm raised prawns from China (for food)...and let me tell you, you would never eat another. I am sure pen-raised can vary greatly in quality and care.

Malaysian FW prawns are being raised here as well to off set the decrease to tobacco sales and to expand what a farmer can sell.