Matt Pedersen ranks among North America’s most respected aquarists. He was named 2009 Aquarist of the Year by the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America in recognition of his extraordinary efforts to encourage captive breeding of marine species. Though he has worked professionally as an interactive software developer and marketer for the last 15 years, Pedersen’s roots are firmly grounded in the aquarium hobby and industry.
Pedersen’s interest in breeding marine fish stems from his earlier exposure to the freshwater hobby, in which fish breeding is commonplace and a staple activity for aquarists. In this respect the marine aquarium industry is still decades behind the freshwater trade, and the vast majority of marine fishes have never been bred in captivity. Rather than repeating the efforts of others or chalking up easy successes to inflate his statistics, Pedersen has always focused on experimental breeding and challenging projects. He is proud to have spawned 26 species of marine fish, successfully rearing 9 to date. In 2008, Pedersen shocked the marine aquarium world by becoming the first (and he remains the only) person to successfully spawn and rear the extremely difficult-to-keep Harlequin Filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. He is one of the few who have demonstrated the truly successful artificial incubation of Banggai Cardinalfish eggs, a practice that requires further refinement and understanding to this day.
Pedersen is currently a senior editor and associate publisher for CORAL Magazine and its sister publication for freshwater aquarists, AMAZONAS. He has written about marine breeding for a number of international publications and is a regular contributor to the industry’s premier marine aquarium blog, ReefBuilders, where he focuses primarily on breeding-related news and content.
Pedersen (along with Banggai Rescue team member Matthew L. Wittenrich, and Chad Penney and Tal Sweet) helped design and launch the Marine Breeding Initiative (MBI), a non-profit breeding program that promotes marine fish breeding within the hobbyist community while gathering an ever-expanding database of documented breeding efforts from around the globe, and he is still an active MBI council member. The MBI runs the Marine Breeder’s Workshop, a one-of-a-kind national conference for marine fish breeders. As many others have observed, Pedersen has a unique ability to identify the talents and breakthroughs of others, and strives to bring these people and their ideas to the world whenever possible.
Pedersen will write and edit the hands-on breeding sections of BANGGAI RESCUE, using his own experiences and those of others who have successfully reared this species to provide the most effective modern protocols and solutions to the many pitfalls that breeders may encounter.
Matt Pedersen lives and works in Duluth, Minnesota.