Ever wonder how those über rare deepwater fish are hauled up from the extreme depths? SCUBA diving is the most widespread method for collecting livestock for the aquarium industry, but this gear is limited to shallow water reefs and waters a couple of hundred feet deep at best. Rebreathing gear can add a bit more depth to a diver’s range, but even that’s limited and it can become quite unsafe as divers push the limits. So how do the collectors catch fish from depths of 150m, 250m, or more? A recent video from Fish Tank Kings, an upcoming aquarium based television show on Nat Geo Wild, gives us a rare glimpse into the deepwater collecting methods of submersible operators. During this trip, a couple of well traveled collectors take a trip down to the 400ft mark in the Caribbean Sea in hopes of catching a few rare fish species.
Once in the submersible and at the proper depth, the collectors deploy a pair of arms that do all of the work. One arm sprays a jet of water to scare fish out of the rocks and out into the open, while the second arm vacuums the fish into a small on-board collection chamber. But this doesn’t always prove to be successful, as the fish move a bit faster than the sub operator can move the robotic arms.
Besides giving us a unique look at submersible collecting, the video also sheds a little light as to what we can expect from the Fish Tank Kings television show. Instead of just focusing on random aquarium builds, the show appears to highlight other aspects of the hobby as well. We can only hope that our assumptions are true for the entire upcoming season, and we can’t wait to see what all this show has to offer.