An excerpt with expanded content from CORAL Magazine’s Reef News, November/December 2017
“This has been three years in the making,” says marine breeder Soren Hansen, announcing a line of new designer clownfish being produced, remarkably, by Sea & Reef Aquaculture in rural Franklin, Maine, on the coast of the icy north Atlantic.
“The fish was created by a one-in-a-million mutation that was spotted by our hatchery manager, Brandon Weik, who knew something exciting had happened when he pulled the first very different-looking fish out of a group of growing juveniles.
“This unique fish was paired up with a misbarred Black and White Ocellaris (also called the Darwin Ocellaris),” Hansen continues. “In 2015, this new pair laid their first nest of eggs. The offspring look even more striking than that first mutant fish. They have a black base with extensive white markings displaying interesting swirls and spots. No two fish are alike. In the Black Storms, the white color extends deep into the face in a way that has not been observed in Ocellaris Clownfish before.”
Hansen says that Sea & Reef asked the public to suggest names for the new fish, and “hundreds of suggestions came in. Some pretty creative names were submitted, including Juggalo Clownfish, Moo- Clown, Panda Ocellaris, Dalmatian, Rorschach Clownfish, and many others. Meanwhile, within the hatchery, the Sea & Reef crew started to refer to them as Storm Troopers, which we all liked.”
Sea & Reef, well-known for being the first large-scale marine fish hatchery to commercialize the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish, used that experience to relaunch their unique What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) website section to feature the new Black Storm Clownfish.
While Sea & Reef is strictly wholesale to the aquarium trade, the WYSIWYG section allows anyone to browse the most exceptional Black Storm Clownfish Sea & Reef has to offer.
As noted on each clownfish’s page, individual aquarists are invited to order these fish through the closest retailer of Sea & Reef Aquaculture fish, and they are willing to help these aquarists find a shop if need be (you can email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org). While Sea & Reef does not implement MAP pricing for its retailers, Hansen expects retail prices on the initial release to range between $300 to $450 for standard-release fish, and anticipates WYSIWYG offerings to fetch between $500 and $700.
The new clowns will go on sale November 1 at brick-and-mortar aquarium shops that carry Sea & Reef stock. For more information, visit www.seaandreef.com. To learn even more about the origins of the Black Storm Clownfish, you can read the full story at https://www.seaandreef.com/marine-ornamental-fish/clownfish/black-davinci-clownfish, and our own coverage from 2015, One-in-a-million New Ocellaris Clownfish.
Image Credits: Sea & Reef Aquaculture, unless otherwise noted