What is a "Frag Farmer's Market?

Inspired by the idea of the the reef club frag swap, the New England Frag Farmer's Market has become the biggest signle day coral event in the country, with over 1300 people in attendance at the 2018 FFM.. It brings together 60+ coral "farmers" from all over the country to come sell their home grown crop. The E.O. Smith Coral Project has hosted the FFM for 11 years now, allowing hobbyists, retail or online store to come in and set-up to sell farmed coral frags. With the set-up fee lower than any other show, the hobbyist can set-up next to the big names in coral. Admission is only $5, and anyone can come in and chat with the farmers, share information and get a few nice homegrown frags to stock their tanks.

Why organize FFM?

The coral reefs of the world are in peril as a result of negative effects of numerous human activities. Unfortunately, included in that list is the marine aquarium trade. As a hobbyist and an avid scuba diver, I find it upsetting that I am taking part in destroying the reefs that I love so much. The hobby that we all take part in pulls ten of thousands of corals out of the oceans each year, with a focus on finding the rare and hard to find specimens. Many of these corals end up dying in collection, shipping, and acclimation. From there, many end up dead by being put into insufficient home reef environments due to poor education/training.

Where does all the money go?

The original intention for the proceeds from the Frag Farmer's Market was to support the E.O. Smith Coral Porject, the coral growing systems and program that I started at E.O. Smith, where I teach. As we all know, keeping a successful reef aquarium can be an expensive proposition, and even with the support of the school, I did not feel it was fair to draw more funds from the school budget, taking away from other programs. The first few FFM's that we hosted provided enough funds for us to keep going through the year (more or less...). As the FFM grew in popularity, the proceeds have become more than enought to support the school project, allowing me to buy the equipment that my students need to continue their work and research. I have also been able to work with a number of other schools, who are starting up similar projects, to help them get the gear that they need to get their projects up and running. To date, I have helped 5 different schools to buy equipment, including lights, skimmers, salt, etc... I have also been able to take over one of the scholarships that E.O. Smith gives every year. I have given over $4000 in scholarships to graduating students who are going on to study marine biology, conservation, or a related field. It has been awesome to be able to give back!

Why Include Shops at the FFM?

I have been approached by a number of people who ask me, "Why let shops set-up at the Frag Farmer's Market? Isn't it supposed to be for the hobbyist?" The original intention was to create a venue for hobbyists to sell their homegrown corals. My thinking has always been that if I give the hobbyist a chance to make money on corals that they have grown, they will be more likely to spend time fragging and growing corals at home. With that focus in mind, having shops at the FFM, selling full colonies, seems to be counter to the theme of the Frag Farmer's. I think that including shops has three benefits for the hobby.

2019 Sponsors

The following companies have generously supported the Frag Farmer's Market this year either by donations to the market, or by participating by coming to sell their frags. These businesses have shown commitment to the environment by providing frags, supplies to frag, or "greener" options to reefkeeping in general. The E.O. Smith Coral Project encourages you to take a minute to support these businesses when purchasing equipment, fragging supplies, or frags for your systems. Take a minute to look over their websites using the attached links. Check back often, this list is ALWAYS growing!


Jon Swanson

Director E.O. Smith Coral Project

Special Thanks

A special thanks to CaribSea for offering to not only donate to the raffle but also supplying the water for the 2019 FFM! They have been a HUGE supporter of the school project from the very start and continue to offer their products to the project to ensure its success.. Thanks!

A thanks to Tropic Marin for their continued support of the E.O. Smith Coral Project and for being the offical salt sponsor of the project. Thanks!

Participants and Sponsors for the 2019 New England Frag Farmer's Market

aznutty blakes bs bs ccl dirk euaquatics exotic fauna fritz fupa potp mikes neptune osa polyp reefweeds reefrax rtma sof stc rtrends rockhard

Clubs and Schools Participating in the 2019 New England Frag Farmer's Market