Those of you who know us well are aware that one of the essential details of our business is our regular visits to suppliers. These businesses are more than just suppliers.
They are our people, friends, and families we have worked with for generations. We share passionate stories of reef keeping and stories on which the industry has been built on. Some of the places and people we visit are truly amazing and inspiring to behold.
We sometimes stumble across unique stories and interesting facts about our friendship that amazes even the most experienced of travellers amongst farms, suppliers and fish breeders across the world.
The last two years have slowed us down due to Covid, but now with borders opening up it was great to be able to resume extended travels.
Last week was no exception when we were able to visit a few old friends in the US, where we spotted a fantastic pair of clownfish. It was a great trip across various cities, islands, states, flights, and not enough days to see it all.
In one of those stops, I found a story we want to share with you.
ORA and TMC have collaborated in various ways since the start of their project. They are an impressive business that focuses solely on captive breeding of some species and is responsible for a lot of the captive-bred clownfish technology and fish around the world. Walking through endless isles of clownfish, coral, and various species is indeed reinvigorating and for someone as passionate about aquaculture as us, it was a dream come true.
TMC has also invested in various projects, including our very own hatchery in London. Here we were fortunate to have cracked 28 world firsts! Unfortunately, at one point in time, for those who remember, we had a great fire in London that affected part of our building, and we had to reinvent ourselves and our strategy.
We decided it was time to share our technology with various farms across the world. We wanted to cross-pollinate institutes and projects around the world to increase the number of people working in this topic and support more techniques to be discovered. We realised we couldn't do all species and all techniques in one location very quickly, and a joint effort from our TMC family was needed.
As such, breeding pairs flew around the world. ORA was one of these farms, and it was great to see some of the original pairs of clownfish we had 17 years ago still alive and well. That's right. 17 years ago and still breeding!
Meet Mr and Mrs TMC
Our focus when we had our hatchery was the obsession with the quality of our clownfish. We were obsessed with having the perfect clownfish, colours and stripes. But natural accidents do happen, and in one batch, we spotted a few aberrant fish with a strange colouration. We were unaware, but Dustin (he is the president of ORA) now confirms that these would have probably been one of the first snowflake clownfish in the world. Since then, he hasn't seen anyone able to recreate a similar situation from a perfect pair of Ocellaris.
And the plot thickens…
In 27/01/2005, this pair of snowflakes arrive in ORA via Quality Marine (Another one of our longstanding partners).
Since then, ORA has produced hundreds of thousands of snowflake oceallaris from this one original pair. I would even take a stab at over 1 million fish having come out of that tank. According to ORA who kept those records the original pair. These are the Adam and Eve for all designer clownfish (Ocellaris) that we now see today. All variations of colour and patterns on ocellaris ever produced in ORA and in many farms around the world could have come from this one pair!
Isn't that a great and interesting fact….
Please see here the video