The Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association (FTFFA): the Face of the Tropical Fish Farming Industry
The Aquatic Experience is excited to announce that the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association (FTFFA) will be returning to this year’s event. As the face of the tropical fish farming industry, the FTFFA captivated attendees of the 2018 Aquatic Experience with the popular “Wall of Fish,” consisting of 24 tanks that were filled to capacity with a diverse, premium-quality selection of Florida-produced fish and aquatic plants. Last year’s FTFFA booth also featured a 125-gallon display tank stocked with a wide variety of fish and plants, a special tank designed to showcase the world of “GloFish,” and knowledgeable representatives from the FTFFA.
Headquartered in Winter Haven, Florida, the FTFFA is dedicated to helping Florida fish farmers consistently fulfill the Association’s slogan: “the best tropical fish come from Florida.” With over 200 members, the FTFFA is the industry’s premier trade association and serves as a powerful advocate for both the region’s tropical fish farmers and the aquaculture industry as a whole.
The FTFFA benefits its members and the greater fish farming community in numerous ways. With its co-op store, the FTFFA provides members with the best possible prices for fish-rearing and care products. The organization also plays an active role in aquaculture research designed to help farmers produce the highest quality fish and aquatic plants possible. Additionally, the FTFFA has a powerful lobbying arm that provides a legislative voice for fish farmers. With an ally like the FTFFA, it’s easy to see why Florida is the top producer of tropical fish in the country. With a goal of helping and supporting tropical fish farmers, the FTFFA encourages and enriches the sense of community in the industry. The Association also takes the lead in marketing and advertising for the farmers, getting the word out to suppliers at pet industry trade shows about the superior fish available from Florida farmers.
The FTFFA is thrilled to return to Aquatic Experience this year and participate in the unique interface between farms and consumers that the event provides. In addition to the incredible Wall of Fish, the FTFFA will conduct a “People’s Choice” contest in which attendees can vote for their favorite tank of fish amongst the multitude of tanks on display. By casting a vote for their top three favorite tanks, each participant will be entered into a door prize drawing for a complete aquarium setup. The winning farms will also be awarded a trophy at the FTFFA’s annual meeting. Come visit the FTFFA at Booth #722 and learn about the amazing quality and variety of tropical fish from Florida!
About the Florida Fish Industry
Consisting of more than 100 separate operations, Florida fish producers have earned an outstanding reputation as a reliable source of top-drawer tropical fish and plants. In fact, tropical fish are the number-one air cargo product out of Tampa International Airport, with an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 boxes of fish departing weekly.
Using the latest technology, Florida tropical fish farmers have been able to utilize pool greenhouse covers, biological filtration, automatic feeders, ultraviolet sterilization, reverse osmosis, and computers to increase production. And increased production is a good thing, especially since Florida fish farmers have seen a growth in demand for their product.
What is the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association (FTFFA)?
The FTFFA began as a cooperative in 1964, when the first members realized that they could substantially cut their costs by purchasing needed items in bulk. This realization led to the establishment of the FTFFA co-op store, where Association members still enjoy a healthy discount on fish farming items.
The FTFFA is still the only professional organization to represent tropical fish producers. The Association has a Board of Directors consisting of dedicated volunteers and a permanent executive director. It now boasts a roster of more than 200 members—primarily Florida fish farmers, but also retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and others with an interest in aquaculture and fish production. The group is funded by membership dues, the co-op store profits, and from our nesting-type shipping box. These funds are then channeled into Association projects, such as research and marketing.
Research is an important way of making us better farmers and business people. For this reason, the FTFFA has established a research partnership with the University of Florida, where the FTFFA was instrumental in establishing the College of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. This partnership has resulted in projects for disease diagnosis and control, and a special project on genetic improvements on the swordtail. There is also a full-time veterinarian available to farmers with more serious problems.
The FTFFA also helped establish a research laboratory in Ruskin, Florida, which focuses on a wide variety of fish production, nutritional studies, and genetic improvements. Going hand-in-hand with research are educational programs offered by the FTFFA. Our emphasis is on producing more high-quality fish, in recognition of the fact that everyone will benefit from bigger, better product coming out of Florida. With a mission of supporting the tropical fish industry, we aim to yield benefits for farmers in our state and others—and even beyond the aquarium fish industry. To learn more about the FTFFA and what we offer, visit https://www.ftffa.com.