A panel discussion on recent and proposed changes in regulations affecting the retail and consumer aquatics industry will be hosted by the Aquatic Experience on Friday, November 7, 2014 beginning at 6:15 pm in Nirvana C Exhibit Hall. The town hall discussion is open to all Aquatic Experience 2014 attendees and exhibitors, and store owners and industry professionals from the area are also encouraged to attend.
Moderated by Chris Clevers, president of fish food company Hikari Sales USA, Inc. the panel includes: Julian Sprung, noted author of books and articles on marine aquarium fish keeping, Marshall Meyers, senior advisor and former CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC,) Sandy Moore, Co-Chair of PIJAC’s Marine Aquarium Committee, and Chris Buerner, Co-Chair of PIJAC’s Marine Aquarium Committee and president of Quality Marine, a leading marine livestock wholesaler, and one of the largest saltwater fish and invertebrate distributors in the United States.
The discussion will center on issues impacting fish, corals and other aquatic animals resulting from new and/or proposed regulations that would place them under the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) which could then halt their sales. A number of propagated corals and captive bred fish could be impacted.
“By bringing together top industry experts, our goal is to make hobbyists, retailers and aquatic industry professionals aware of what is currently taking place in the industry, where we may be headed and now these actions can impact their business or hobby. We also want to answer questions, clear up any confusion or misinformation that may be out there, and talk about what we can do to protect the rights of consumers to keep aquatic pets,” said moderator Chris Clevers.
The discussion will also include PIJAC’s efforts to narrow the number and species of corals and fish being considered for listing for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. PIJAC, with its financial support helped solidify scientific information developed by Dr. Charlie Veron, a world-renowned coral expert, through the Aquatic Committee. PIJAC’s actions were necessary because of a Center for Biological Diversity petition in 2009 which asked to list 83 reef-building coral species for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In August 2014, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed 20 species of threatened corals including five coral species from the Caribbean, and 15 Indo-Pacific coral species from the genera Acropora, Euphyllia, Montipora, Pavona, Porites, and Seriatopora.
NMFS had originally proposed 66 coral species as threatened and endangered, however, based upon substantial scientific information submitted by the PIJAC and other parties it determined only 20 of these species warranted listing as threatened species.
During the discussion, retail owners will learn how they can bring awareness of these issues to their customers, and to communicate what actions their customers can take to get involved or start a grass roots effort against halting the sale of fish and corals important to their business.
If you have specific questions you would like considered for this panel discussion, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: AE 2014 Town Hall.