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Welcome to Ornamental Fish International's Web Site

Aims of OFI

To represent the international aquarium industry and make it strong and dynamic.
Defend interests of its members.
Ensure the continuation of worldwide trade in ornamental aquatic animals and aquatic plants, and products for the industry.
Aim for a reliable, trustworthy reputation of the aquarium industry.
Maintain the OFI Code of Ethics.
Ensure high standards by continuous development.
Keep OFI members fully informed.
Promote the hobby of aquarium keeping throughout the world.
Current emerging issues that will have serious effects on the aquarium industry:

  • Invasive Alien Species, keeping species with risks to biodiversity will be restricted.
  • Animal health, restrictions to imports based on animal health risks. Can countries comply?
  • Sharing of benefits, do we have to pay to be allowed to breed ornamental fish? CITES, species protection is good, but also necessary?
  • Animal welfare, how to address changing attitudes in import countries?


OFI Award 2015

The OFI Award aims at honoring a person, or an organization, for their special contributions to the ornamental aquatic industry. We honor efforts that go beyond that of what may be expected of someone who just normally performs his or her job.

This year the Award was given by OFI posthumously to Alex and Edith Ploeg. For many years Alex was the OFI Secretary General and Edith the OFI administrator. Due to their exemplary efforts OFI became a respected organization representing the Aquarium Industry in many different international platforms.  Through their tireless efforts OFI members are well known as trusted business partners using ethical practices..

OFI Secretary General Roberto Hensen presented the award to Mirjam and Sandra the daughters of Alex and Edith in Maarssen, the Netherlands.

Read more

How OFI works

Through direct contact with many governments.
Through participation in conferences, seminars and workshops Through close cooperation with colleague trade association.
Through direct contact with colleague NGO’s, supporting the industry as well as opposing it.
Through following changes in legislation, following media and scientific work. Through maintaining close contacts with members and many non-members.
Code of ethics and mission statement

Support the aquarium industry become member of: member page or join ofi

Health Certificates



Recently the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament approved the final draft of the new EU regulation on Invasive Alien Species. It will most probably be adopted by the plenary of the Parliament. The new legislation will get into force one year after official publication of the regulation. You can download a consolidated version here. 
There will be a list of Invasive species of concern to the EU, based on criteria and decided on by a scientific committee. Species on this list will not be allowed within the European Union, not for import, nor breeding and production. Present keepers are allowed to keep their animal until it dies. Traders with stocks of species on the list have two years to sell their stock. More details later in an article in the OFI Journal.


Secretary General participated in a conference ‘Towards a Consolidated Network of Knowledge on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services in Europe’. This conference was about establishing a network of institutions, scientists, and stakeholders to assemble information. All these parties were present in the meeting. In the past already many attempts have been made to assemble information, usually short-term projects that ended with the end of the funding. This is now an attempt to develop a structure to coordinate all who work in this area, so when questions come up, it is clear whom to contact for what information. Actually, the meeting was especially about the organization of such a network, rather than about the actual problems with biodiversity.

Recently the Food and Veterinary Office of the EU, the EU inspection service, audited Spain with respect to apple snails in the Ebro Delta. As previously reported to you, the damage to rice fields of the Ebro delta by apple snails was the reason that the importation of apple snails was prohibited all over Europe. The legislation also brings obligations for Spain. These obligations were audited.

Main conclusions: 
- apple snails have disappeared from pet shops and import facilities in Spain;
- no apple snails were found in Spain outside the Ebro-delta;
- eradication does not entirely take place in all aspects as has been prescribed by the EU;
- The infestation cannot be entirely eradicated, only limited.

The full report can be found here.

Recently Eurogroup for Animals launched a campaign to have Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sign a manifesto to promote animals welfare of pets, including a statement of a ban on wild caught pets and a restriction on the number of exotic species. 
Our Colleagues of OATA In the UK have launched a campaign to address this issue. We call on you to spread this campaign and to invite the public to do what they ask, in the UK and elsewhere. This Eurogroup campaign may have a serious effect on the industry in Europe; perhaps not next year, but for sure on the long term.

Mid 2013 the European Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) conducted a mission to Malaysia to investigate whether Malaysia met the EU requirements with respect to aquatic plant health. For our industry the main issue was to see whether Malaysia met the requirements with respect to the Tobacco whitefly Bemisia tabacci. You can download the report here. We had hoped for better results.

Recently the Commission published a new Implementing regulation on species of wild fauna and flora (578/2013). In this Regulation Europe implements the recent decisions by the Scientific Review Group on which species are allowed in from which countries. Changes of relevance to the Ornamental Aquatic Industry: Tridacna crocea and T. squamosa from Cambodia are no longer allowed into the EU. You can download the Regulation here.