Concieved from curiosity. Pursued with passion.
We envisioned an aquaculture facility that was based on a boutique concept. Rare, one-of-a-kind fishes made available directly to aquarists. Fish that ate when fed, didn’t die of mysterious illnesses, and fish that didn’t make you queasy thinking about a purchase with no guarantee.
Poma Labs Inc. is the result of intense research and development designed to bring new species to commercial reality. With the creation of an ‘inland ocean’ and proprietary new techniques, we are proud of what we have accomplished and extremely optimistic of things to come.
Poma Labs Inc. is a family operated business that emphasizes the quality of our products and the character of our service.
Dr. Matt Wittenrich, Co-Founder & CEO
Dr. Matt Wittenrich is a highly-respected marine biologist who has been deeply involved with the aquarium world since the age of 15. Working in various capacities as a researcher, consultant, and private aquarist, he has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America studying coral reef fishes.
A native of western New York, he began breeding saltwater fish in his parent’s basement, successfully raising 13 species by age 18. During this time, information on breeding marine fishes in captivity was rare, so Matt began documenting his success in TFH magazine at the age of 16. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Long Island University, Southampton College, he worked in commercial finfish aquaculture and collaborated on various research projects, before pursuing a Masters degree Florida Institute of Technology. He has been involved in diverse research projects from sex change strategies in pseudochromids, examining if larval clownfish can hear the natal reefs where they hatched, and understanding how larval fishes feed.
Wittenrich earned a PhD from Florida Institute of Technology, with research focused on the early life stages of marine fishes, which address both ecological questions about how tiny larvae survive in the wild, as well as developing novel methods suited to rearing them in captivity. This is primarily achieved through understanding the functional design of the feeding apparatus and how it changes through the early life history stages. Through this research he has been successful in identifying stage and species specific criteria that lead to successful feeding.
Matt has also earned widespread recognition outside of the academic & scientific communities. Wittenrich is the author of The Complete Illustrated Breeder’s Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes. The Breeder’s Guide, published in 2007, has since become a cornerstone publication for the breeding of ornamental marine fish, and provided a much-needed compendium covering the first 40 years of private and commercial marine ornamental aquaculture, bolstered by the release of extensive new information discovered by Wittenrich during his research. Within the community of ornamental marine fish breeders, The Breeder’s Guide has become the must-read first book for any aspiring marine fish breeder.
While Matt is well known for his marine fish breeding successes, he perhaps gained the most notoriety within the commercial and private aquarium realm by demonstrating that large-scale culture of mandarin dragonets (Synchiropus spp.) was a viable commercial possibility. This forever changed the outlook for this species group, which are among some of the most challenging fish to keep in captivity, but also some of the most-harvested as well. Wittenrich received MASNA’s Aquarist of the Year Award in 2010 in recognition of his vast impact on the future of the aquarium hobby and industry.
Wittenrich is also a skilled photographer; his work features prominently in The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, Marine Aquarium Handbook Beginner to Breeder, The Marine Fish Health and Feeding Handbook, and 101 Best Marine Invertebrates.
Nuri Fisher, Co-Founder
Nuri Fisher is an energetic, serial entrepreneur who has spent the last 20 years merging his passion for the environment and aquatic life working on various business ventures within the aquarium, aquaculture, fisheries and green-tech industries. Born and raised on the Pacific Ocean in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Fisher studied Marine Biology and Commerce at the University of British Columbia. Then, he went on to obtain his business degree from the faculty of Management at Royal Roads University (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) in 2002 where his focus of study was in Entrepreneurial Management.
In 2014 Nuri was named a top "Forty under 40" by Pet Age Magazine; an award honoring the accomplishments of young leaders in the Pet Manufacturing Industry. Nuri is currently involved with technology incubators and accelerators and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Piscine Energetics headquartered in British Columbia, Canada. Piscine Energetics developed proprietary and sustainable fishing methodologies to remove invasive freshwater mysis shrimp and processing technology, transforming these invasive species into a world renowned aquarium and aquaculture fish food.