Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Marine Aquarium Hobby in Jeopardy: PIJAC seeks support to defend the industry and hobby from legislative threats in 2013

Friends, fellow hobbyists, and readers-->we urge you to read the following letter and share it with all those you know who are passionate about marine life and the care and culture of saltwater fish and invertebrates:

To our customers, fellow members of the ornamental fish trade, and all marine and reef aquarium hobbyists,

The trade in both wild collected and aquacultured marine ornamentals and our mutual hobby which it supports is facing unprecedented legislative threats in the coming year. Despite the great strides made in recent years toward sustainability in collection and the incredible advances in ornamental marine breeding and rearing, opponents to the trade are advancing legislative measures whose repercussions would be felt from the largest wholesalers to the individual hobbyist breeder/propagator.

In response to the mounting pressures facing our trade, hobby, and livelihood, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), has formed a Marine Ornamental Subcommittee to act as a unified voice for industry members, aquaculturists, and hobbyists against anti-aquarium legislation.  Segrest Farms, as a founding member of this subcommittee, would like to affirm our strong belief that the trade in marine fish and invertebrates can become a well-managed and sustainable use of this precious natural resource. Peer-reviewed research has demonstrated that this trade, with careful management, provides a powerful economic incentive to artisanal fisheries to avoid destructive practices and maintain viable, healthy reefs for future generations (Rhyne et al 2012, Wabnitz et al 2003). 
            In light of this, we urge all of you who benefit from the keeping and breeding of marine organisms to support PIJAC’s Marine Ornamental Subcommittee as it defends the industry and hobby against blanket bans, anti-aquarium legislation, and bills based solely on appeals to emotion and fear, not sound science and best management practices.

Your support is critical to ensuring a future for this wonderful hobby and the livelihoods of all those in the industry it supports—from your local pet retailer to the source country fisherman who collects ornamental fish as a means to provide for his or her family. Please see the attached membership forms for more information on specific issues and how to pledge your support with an annual membership to PIJAC. All donations received will go directly to the Marine Ornamental Subcommittee to be used for the protection of the marine and reef aquarium hobby.


Segrest Farms

Membership information for Hobbyists:

Membership info for Industry Members (retailers, breeders, manufacturers)

For further information on this issue, and for a review of the specific legislative threats we face in 2013,  we strongly recommend Coral Magazine's excellent coverage:

NOAA Proposes Endangered Listing for 66 Stony Coral Species 

Hawaii’s Aquarium Fishery at a Critical Turning Point

And in print, J. Charles Delbeek's article, Lawyers, Corals, and Money in the January/February issue of Coral (p. 124-129).


No comments:

Post a Comment