Where is my “wet pet” coming from?
After the order was placed we distribute it according to the catching skills of our collectors (sometimes even children have fun collecting for their parents hermit crabs while frolicking in the warm sea during low tide) and the site animals are known to be abundant.
We pick up the organisms with a 20m boat, fully equipped with an open system.
Pre-selection is done on board already when we receive the animals from our collectors. Any unfit appearing individuals (over- undersized, fin- or scale damages, abnormal behavior etc.) are rejected and released to the sea where they may recover.
All animals supplied by the collectors are properly recorded. This way we can trace back each individual animal should customers have questions about the origin, sizes or special seasonal colors etc.
Preparation for shipment at the facility
For each order the staff is briefed about special packing requirements according to the clients’ request (e.g. small bag size and reduced water volume for short international shipments such as Singapore, Hong Kong or Japan). We do keep a portfolio for each client where special instructions were given such as additional boxes, fill up of boxes, make weight, discounted animals and the like.
After all animals were received, the boat returns within 2 hours to the facility. During the entire time water is flowing freely into the tanks on board.
Upon arrival at the facility the animals are distributed into the designated tank compartments. We provide plenty of space and simple habitat like structures such as hideouts or sand to accommodate the animals as stress free as possible.
All fishes that were supplied by other provinces in the Philippines are feed with fresh mussels, fish meat or sea urchin gonads. Specialized feeders receive their natural diet. 12 hours and 24 hours before shipment carnivores (meat eaters) and herbivores (algae or plant eaters) are not feed anymore to clear their intestines.
The packing water (tank capacity 1. 2 m3) is filtered and UV cleared for at least 48 hours. We oxygenize the water during the entire time. 6 hours before shipment the temperature is cooled 3 to 4 degrees lower than the sea water to slow down physiological activities of the animals.
Only organisms that pass our strict requirements are prepared for shipment. We sacrifice the economic advantage using a packing machine; instead employ 20 women from the local area to provide income and support to their livelihood.
Packing is always close to the latest possible cut-off time of the airlines to minimize resident time of animals in the plastic bag. Our packing women have been in the past very reliable and show up with the complete team no matter if its 12 midnight, 3 am or 7 pm. Respect Ladies!
Most of the animals shipped by MarineFauna underwent packing tests and together with the feedback of importers new techniques were applied to provide better packing (e.g. holdfast in the bag, sand, cotton etc.). However, some species which are very much in demand for the ornamental trade ship difficult (e.g. Cardinal fishes, some wrasses) and we still try to improve the packing.
A few hours before shipment the ordered animals are prepared for easy gathering when packing is in full swing. We use exclusively medical grade oxygen for all animals we ship. Toxic organisms are labeled to avoid unpleasant encounters during unpacking on the importers’ side.
Flight cancelled, shipment returned…
Whenever a shipment is returned due to a cancelled flight, all animals are released back to the reef in front of the facility.