Educated customers will want to know what we’re doing as in indus-
try to ensure that we’re not harming the environment or endangering
marine life in the course of supplying them with their aquarium fish.
This is an opportunity to discuss a wide range of industry initiatives that
focus on environmental stewardship, support of indigenous collectors
and sustainable aquaculture. Some excellent examples of these ef-
• Habitattitude—This public-private partnership focuses on the im-
portance of protecting the environment by not releasing unwanted fish,
reptiles and aquatic plants into the wild.
• Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF)—A nonprofit organization
working to preserve and restore threatened coral species, the CRF
is active around the world in cultivating and “outplanting” new coral to
combat the declines that were experienced in previous decades.
• Project Piaba—Sustainable fishing is an economic driver along the
Rio Negro in Brazil. Without this source of income, local peoples would
be forced to turn to more environmentally impactful occupations such
as mining and logging. Project Piaba promotes the Amazonian aquari-um fish trade and helps to preserve it as a viable livelihood.
• Rising Tide Conservation—
This initiative focuses on the develop-ment of fish propagation techniques that allow for more marine ornamental species to be sustainably raised in captivity.
Aquatic enthusiasts are among the best-educated and most-en-gaged pet owners, and they recognize the need to defend their hobby
against well-intentioned, but ultimately harmful, regulations and legislation. Developing relationships with the customers you supply – either
individually or through local aquatic societies – is the key to being able
to quickly and effectively engage. At the Pet Industry Joint Advisory
Council (PIJAC), we maintain an Aquatic Defense Fund for exactly this
purpose; contact us for more information on how to get involved.
With these concepts in mind, we can all work together to ensure that
this film release and others like it in the future result in positive experiences and increased awareness. PB
Mike Bober is president and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. For
more information on ways to engage the public and your elected officials, contact
him at email@example.com.
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