has been able to persuade authorities to
consider public comments and alterations,
and abstain from voting until 2017.
“If Michigan goes, the other Great
Lakes states will follow, because the objective behind a white list is to prevent alien
species from entering local lakes and waterways,” he said.
Sandy Moore, president of Gibsonton,
Fla.-based Segrest Farms, spoke in depth
about the National Invasive Species Act,
a federal law intended for the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service to prevent invasive
species from entering local waterways.
It originally was intended to address the
issue of contaminated ballast water from
shipping vessels introducing foreign
species, although today it is used mostly for listing species as being invasive or
injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act.
Concerns over these lists include a lack of
documentation, poor risk screening and
invalid data. Moore showed models of
risk screening where the processes seem
anecdotal and more like “weed science”
models. Risk-screening protocols must be
refined with more accurate data and critically reviewed analysis.
“A two-minute rapid-screen assessment as the sole grounds is not a best
solution to highly improbable scenarios,”
Moore said. “Regulating species should be
done on a state level, where close evaluation is in context to its local environment.”
In Florida, the hotspot for invasive animals, Moore works with the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service in hopes of gaining positive results through bipartisan policies.
She believes we all should take responsibility for preventing invasive organisms
from entering our own local waterways.
If we don’t, the government surely will
take it all away. Becoming a partner with
Habitattitude ( habitattitude.net) is a great
place to start. It’s a show of support that
we, as an industry, do not wish for invasive species either and are willing to take
on responsible practices for conservation.
Chris Buerner, president of Los Ange-les-based Quality Marine, addressed the
newest regulatory issues facing the trade
and updated the audience on federal
Endangered Species Act legislation and
the industry-ban legislation in Hawaii.
Buerner’s involvement within the industry spans decades. He helped create the
aquatics committee to address growing
industry pressures such as the continued
introduction of trade-ban bills in Hawaii
and an increasing number of Endangered
Species Act petitions.
“Although we were successful a few
years ago, now Hawaiian issues are back
on the table; I do not think they will ever
go away,” he said, emphasizing a need for
unity, responsibility, education and transparency, all of which will be needed for
any chance for the trade to continue.
A variety of issues emanate from multiple government agencies; Buerner said
professionalism and the willingness of our
industry to work alongside these agencies
will help legitimize our trade.
“We need to do a better job of actively
telling the story of how we do business
ethically and responsibly, instead of always hanging back and playing defense,”
said Mike Bober, president and CEO of
PIJAC. “We have a lot to be proud of, and
it’s more challenging to dispute something than it is to define yourself in the
AQUATIC EXPERIENCE—CHICAGO 2016
SWELLS TO 6,500 ATTENDEES OF ALL AGES
The World Pet Association (WPA) reported that more than 6,500 guests—a 75 percent increase in
attendance over the show’s first four years—visited its fourth annual Aquatic Experience—Chicago, Nov.
4-6, 2016, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.
At this year’s event, 124 exhibitors filled the show floor, showcasing the latest in aquatic trends
and products alongside local and national hobbyist groups, livestock and equipment experts, and
The Aquascaping Live! Contest participants competed in two categories (small and large tank) for
$3,900 dollars in prize money. First-place winners in the large tank category were Arturo Commiso, Cory
Hopkins, Megan Hopkins, Hiep Hong and Xiaozhuang Wong; first place in the small tank category went
to John Pini. The top Shrimp King Award went to Robert Jackson Harkey Jr. for his submission of Blue
Bolts Shrimp in the 1st International Shrimp Competition,
and the grand prize of $500 was awarded to Mario Toro-manovic for Best of Show in this year’s American Cichlid
Association Fish Competition.
“We realize the need and importance of an
all-aquatics show, and we look forward to continuing
to provide a show where both sophisticated hobbyists
and new aquariumkeepers can be inspired and sup-
ported,” said Doug Poindexter, WPA president. “Thank
you to all attendees who continue to exceed our
expectations every year and to all our sponsors who
make this exciting show possible.”
This year’s show hosted the only traveling sea lion
experience in the U.S., Sea Lion Splash; the educational Fish From Around the World exhibit; a touch tank
with small sharks and starfish; and a kids’ aquarium contest. Guests also learned from aquatic experts
as they attended seminars featuring high-profile speakers addressing intermediate-level information to
advanced aquatic issues.
Aquatic Experience—Chicago 2016 was supported by: Platinum Level—Aqueon, Coralife and
Kent Marine; Gold Level—Fluval, Hikari Sales USA Inc., Seachem Laboratories and Segrest Farms;
Silver Level—Dr Tim’s Aquatics, Fritz Aquatics, Reef Nutrition, Southwest Cargo, Spectrum Brands Pet,
Home & Garden and Two Little Fishies. Media Partners include BlueZoo TV, Pet Product News, Pet Age,
Pet Business, Reef Builders, Reef Hobbyist Magazine, Reef to Rainforest Media (Amazonas/Coral) and
Tropical Fish Hobbyist.
The fifth Aquatic Experience—Chicago is scheduled for Nov. 3-5, 2017.