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"For each fish that survives, 90 are flushed down the toilet."

A shop attendant dutifully inspects a holding tank of brightly-hued butterfly, angel and surgeonfish. Despite the hopeful efforts of many hobbyists, most will die within a year. (Gregg Yan / WWF)

October 2013. Though Finding Nemo introduced millions of viewers to the beauty of saltwater fish, Nemo and most of his friends may literally end up down the drain.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) estimates that as many as 98 out of 100 wild-caught saltwater fish die within one year.

80% or marine fish die before they are sold
Due to the volatility of current capture, transport and shipping practices, about 80% of all marine fish die even before they are sold. Even more shocking is the fact that as much as 90% of those that are sold die within the first year. Only the hardiest – clownfish, damselfish, wrasses, gobies and blennies – or those lucky enough to be bought by elite hobbyists, survive.

Trade in Living Jewels
There are three basic types of fish – saltwater fish from the sea, freshwater fish from rivers or lakes, and brackish water fish from zones where fresh and saltwater mix. Because of the volatile nature of rivers, most fresh and brackish water fish have learned to adapt to dramatic fluctuations in water quality. Read more