Why couldn't you ship bimacs from overseas? Many of the wild-caughts are shipped from Indonesia and they sure seem to make it to the states ok. If they're small they should be fine. Fed-ex can keep packages chilled, can't they? Shipping to/from Europe from the east coast is about the same as shipping to/from the west coast (from the east coast). You could set up a hub in NY for domestic shipping just like the pacific animal hub in LA.
Not really. Christian, a very good friend of mine, imports animals from all over the world...no sweat. But, the most likely thing is that one of us, or several of us, will start captive producing the bimacs soon...
America is pretty loose with its imports, and Indonesia is very loose with its exports. Europe has a lot more red tape with things like this.
And unfortunately/fortunately, NZ has the toughest import laws of all. To get a single bimac into NZ it would cost thousands of dollars. My genetics lecturer had to wait three years to import a strain of yeast.
Just to chime in, well, yeah. The ability of any captive breeding program to unhinge a wild-caught market largely depends on the ratio of demand to complexity of rearing. Several have tried to make a business of breeding, rearing and selling cephalopods (Cephsource, OctoPets, LongArmLabs) with no real success. I don't know how LLL is doing, but if anybody can do it, it's Chris.
There's also not a lot of money in raising cephalopods. Yeah, WE think they're neat, but the real aquaculture research money is going to come from the food market. If we could show Asia that cephs could be massively cultured, then the science and technique refinement would really take off.
Until then, it's us fanatics tearing our hair out and coping with Joe Six-Pack budgets.
If you want a bimac, patience is your best friend. After keeping dozens of them over the years, I noted a pattern: bimacs start showing up in pet shops and iShops around late summer through about February - and they seem to die off between March and June.
My guess is that eggs are laid in the late Spring/early Summer, and the new generation of bimacs are too small to be found by collection divers until close to fall, when they're about the size of a lime.
This is merely an anecdotal observation and hasn't been tested. If anyone has done a formal study, I'd love to hear about it.
On a side note, my wife and I are rearing not one but TWO clutches of small eggs of an unidentified species from indonesia. The first clutch is due to hatch any second now- the embryos flipped inside the eggs last week and as of this morning there were no yolks left. They're in an experimental rotary current plankton breeder. It'll be interesting to see if we can get them to the benthic stage, let alone grow them out completely.
Heh heh. Many imported pet trade cephalopods come from Bali, and I think many would back up the assertion that there are at least 10 times more undescribed species of octopus in Bali waters than there are described ones!
In my last post I told of two clutches of small eggs that we are attempting to raise at the moment. Both of them came from an unidentified Bali octopus. At the store, even though it was labeled "bali octopus" I was SURE this critter was a bimac, albeit on the small side.
Then she laid a zillion small eggs. At first we thought Bimaculatus, but it didn't line up. Then we reached for Norman's book and were subsequently confounded. If the babies make it, we'll collect a lot more data for ID and try to nail it down. Till then, it doesn't matter. We have two zillion mouths, er, beaks to feed!