A Brief History of Marine Aquarium Fish Aquaculture with Pioneer Martin Moe

Dr. Roy Yanong on Pet Life Radio

Breeding marine aquarium fish for the hobby was just a dream several decades ago, until a relatively unknown fisheries biologist named Martin Moe started his company, Aqualife Research, with wife Barbara, in the early 70s, breeding clownfish.  

Martin Moe was ahead of his time, and is now considered by many the father of marine aquarium fish aquaculture, with many fascinating stories to share about the field.  Join us, as Martin reminisces on the past and looks to the future of marine aquarium fish aquaculture.

Martin Moe on Pet Life Radio


Martin A. Moe, Jr. is a retired fishery biologist and marine fish aquaculturist. He holds a Masters Degree from the University of South Florida in zoology and marine biology. His career includes ten years in the 1960s as a fishery biologist with the Florida Marine Research Laboratory where his primary research was on the biology of the red grouper in the Gulf of Mexico. This was the first comprehensive study on age, growth, and reproduction in groupers. Moving into the aquaculture of marine fish, he then developed the basic technology for the culture of pompano and many marine tropical fish, clownfish, gobies, and angelfish, among others. With his wife Barbara, he founded Aqualife Research in 1973, the first company to produce hatchery cultured marine tropical fish, and Green Turtle Publications in 198, a small publishing company for the production of books on marine aquarium keeping and marine technology. He has authored many scientific papers, popular articles, and books on marine aquariology and marine biology including a basic reference on Florida spiny lobsters. He is currently a member of the Florida Keys Sanctuary Advisory Council and an adjunct scientist with Mote Marine Laboratory. He is supposed to be retired at this point but has yet to fully understand this concept. His present research is on coral reef restoration through enhancing population recovery of the keystone herbivore of the Atlantic coral reefs, the long-spined sea urchin, Diadema antillarum.