Sparkling fish, murky methods: the global aquarium trade


              Local villager and fisherman Made Partiana and a local villager search for fish off the coast of Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Villagers hang out near boats along the coast in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 9, 2021. The area is commonly used for aquarium fishing. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Made Partiana looks at sea urchins in a tank in the LINI center in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 12, 2021. “I hope that [healthier] coral reefs will make it possible for the next generation of children and grandchildren under me,” Partiana says. He wants them to be able to “see what coral looks like and that there can be ornamental fish in the sea.” (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Made Partiana inspects a tank at the LINI center in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 12, 2021. The Bali-based nonprofit works for the conservation and management of coastal marine resources. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              The center of Les, Bali, Indonesia is seen on April 11, 2021. The saltwater aquarium fishing town is tucked between the mountains and ocean in northern Bali. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Workers sort aquarium fish caught and delivered to an export warehouse in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, on April 12, 2021. Fish from around Indonesia are brought to this facility. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Pak Ketut, who has been selling fish for over a decade sits in aquarium middle man house in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Workers sort fish in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 11, 2021, for shipment to Denpasar for export. Nearly 3 million homes in the U.S. keep saltwater fish as pets, according to a 2021-2022 American Pet Products Association survey. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Workers sort fish at a middle man house in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Dead fish lie in a container at a sorting station in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              A worker checks a sort and order list at middle man area in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Boats line the coast of Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 11, 2021. This site is commonly used for aquarium fishing. In the vast archipelago of Indonesia, there are about 34,000 miles (54,720 kilometers) of coastline across some 17,500 islands. That makes monitoring the first step of the tropical fish supply chain a task so gargantuan it is all but ignored.  (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Made Partiana walks along beach area at Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 11, 2021, as he prepares to catch aquarium fish. Over the years Partiana began to notice the reef was changing. “I saw the reef dying, turning black,” he says. “You could see there were less fish.” (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Made Partiana and another villager sort fish caught during the day on April 11, 2021. “I hope that [healthier] coral reefs will make it possible for the next generation of children and grandchildren under me,” Partiana says. He wants them to be able to “see what coral looks like and that there can be ornamental fish in the sea.” (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              A starfish crawls along coral reefs, damaged from years of dynamite fishing, in Les, Bali, Indonesia, on April 11, 2021. Cyanide fishing was also common in the area. There have been efforts to reduce some of the most destructive practices, but the trade is extraordinarily difficult to regulate and track as it stretches from small scale fisherman in tropical seaside villages through local middlemen, export warehouses, international trade hubs and finally to pet stores in the U.S., China, Europe and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Made Partiana, foreground, and a fellow villager bring caught fish to shore in northern Bali, Indonesia, on April 10, 2021. Partiana became part of a group of local fishermen who were taught by a local conservation organization how to use nets, care for the reef and patrol the area to guard against cyanide use. He later became a lead trainer for the organization, and has trained more than 200 fellow aquarium fishermen across Indonesia in use of less harmful techniques. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Banggai Cardinals swim in a tank at an export warehouse in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, on April 12, 2021. About 7.6 million saltwater fish are imported into the U.S. every year. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)
            
              Made Partiana uses a net to catch aquarium fish on north coast of Bali, Indonesia, on April 10, 2021. Millions of saltwater fish are caught in Indonesia and other countries every year to fill ever more elaborate aquariums in living rooms, waiting rooms and restaurants around the world with vivid, otherworldly life. (AP Photo/Alex Lindbloom)