The core of the MBI (Marine Breeding Initiative) is a universal Marine Breeders’ Award Program (BAP). The MBI is a project of the Marinelife Aquarium Society of Michigan (MASM), spearheaded by Tal Sweet and Chad Penney. The MBI invited a select group of breeding experts, programmers, and aquarists, to form the MBI Council. Learning from freshwater aquarium BAPs and leveraging modern technology, the MBI Council created the MBI as a modern system of documenting, reporting, verifying, scoring, and ranking for breeders. Ultimately, the MBI is an online service available to Marine Aquarium Clubs and online Marine Aquarium Communities anywhere in the world. The MBI Council continually seeks to improve the MBI program by identifying other services and needs that are supportive of the hobbyist breeder.
By making the MBI available to organizations worldwide, we bring breeders together in a way no other club-specific BAP could. In the end, the “universal language” of the MBI is like that of a sports league – we all play by the same rules, with the same terms and statistics. Individuals can compete amongst themselves, but unlike the isolated BAPs of the freshwater hobby, clubs and organizations around the world can now compete and compare their accomplishments too. Furthermore, should an aquarist move halfway around the world, they need not lose their status and start over in a new BAP, but are able to bring their stats with them. Much like a free agent baseball player, a MBI participant need only switch the organization they are “playing for”. By using the universal motivation of friendly competition and bragging rights, a concept familiar to all of us, the MBI creates an incentivized environment that encourages and rewards individual achievement and innovation, while maintaining communitywide support and sharing, in a way no other project could. The MBI stands ready as a league organizer and system of referees; all it takes is for you and your organization to step onto the playing field!
Outlined below are some basic concepts and structures of the MBI program.
1. To encourage captive breeding of marine ornamental fish and invertebrates.
2. To share knowledge of captive breeding techniques.
3. To enable more people to participate in captive breeding.
4. To recognize outstanding achievement in the captive breeding of marine ornamental fish and invertebrates.
5. To create a pool of information for hobbyists and professionals to use in breeding of established and untried species.
6. To reduce reliance on wild caught animals for the marine aquarium trade by supporting captive breeding and sustainable collection.
The Marine Breeding Initiative is open to anyone interested in the captive breeding of marine aquarium life. Breeders from all avenues, be they hobbyist, commercial or academic, are welcome to participate. Creating a breeding log on a MBI-participating website forum is a requirement, as is submitting reports with the appropriate supporting evidence. The MBI focuses exclusively on propagation via sexual reproduction. Specimens propagated via asexual means such as fragging, splitting or budding are not included in the MBI program.
Species will be divided into classes based on difficulty.
Classes are loosely defined as:
Class A: Easiest species to breed in captivity
Class B: More difficult Species but still regularly bred in captivity
Class C: Species considered very difficult to breed in captivity.
Class D: Species hardly ever successfully bred in captivity. Typically may have pelagic fry that start as prolarvae.
You can find a complete list of all currently classified species at:
- if a species is not listed, you can submit a request for classification, which is reviewed by the MBI council to make an appropriate determination of species Class.
Points will be awarded as follows:
Points will be awarded at 4 stages during the breeding process; spawning event, hatching event, metamorphosis, and 60 days post-metamorphosis (or 60 days after birth if live bearing species).
Points will only be awarded once per participant per species. You don't have to start from scratch every time a pair spawns, but you only get points for that species spawning, hatching, etc. once.
You can see more information on the points system at:
The following is a list of the breeder levels and awards:
You can see more information on the ranking system at: