Rainbowfish born at Nausicaá

These freshwater fish will be born for the first time at Nausicaá in 2022.

First birth of these freshwater fish at Nausicaá

It's a tremendous success for Nausicaá's aquarium team: the reproduction and breeding of Boeseman rainbowfish, Melanotaenia boesemani, a freshwater species that will join the pig-nosed turtles in the Island Stories exhibition in a few months' time.

Since 2021, Nausicaá has coordinated the conservation programme for this fish, classified as "critically endangered" by the IUCN because its habitat is threatened by urban development.

Boeseman rainbowfish born at Nausicaa

Why is a conservation programme needed?

The rainbowfish lives in the fresh waters of Papua New Guinea and north-east Australia.

The Melanotaeniidae family comprises 116 species, 22 of which are endangered and 20 are critically endangered.

Urban development such as agriculture, the mining industry and deforestation have a negative impact on rainbowfish populations, which have very restricted distribution areas of just a few kilometres and are very vulnerable to disturbances in their environments. The introduction of invasive species such as carp, goldfish, tilapia and channa is also threatening the population of these colourful little fish.

The TAG Taxon Advisory Group for "Freshwater fish" has deemed it necessary to create an EEP for this family. Maintaining a healthy gene pool in aquariums is good news for future releases of these fish into the wild.

Nausicaá, EEP coordinator

The rainbowfish is a species that is already at home at Nausicaá. In fact, these little fish live alongside the pig-nosed turtles in the Island Stories exhibition.

The young fish joined the turtles in January 2023 and will continue to grow until they reach a size of 30 cm.

This EEP, a European conservation programme, guarantees a high-quality gene pool by distributing aquarium-born populations throughout the project's partner institutions.

The coordinator monitors reproduction in each of the partner aquariums and organises exchanges of fish to avoid inbreeding.

Births at Nausicaá

Since 1991, Nausicaá's team of biologists has honed its expertise in breeding and reproduction, which helps to preserve the natural environment. Nausicaá's keepers work in the aquariological reserves on cutting coral and rearing jellyfish. They also collect fish eggs from the tropical lagoon and the high seas tank.