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  • 7 Mar 2024 14:55 | Anonymous

    The CITES Secretariat has announced (No. 2024/041) the Technical workshop on Marine Ornamental Fishes will be held in Brisbane Australia from May 7 to 10 2024.

    While it is great news that the workshop is finally going ahead, it is disappointing that these dates clash with major industry dates such as Interzoo 2024 in Germany and Regional Aquatics Workshop (Raw) being held in the USA.

    OFI will be attending the workshop in Brisbane and looks forward to working with other trade organisations including Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) and the European Pet Organisation (EPO) and other IPAC members to represent the interests of the industry and ensure the workshop arrives at science based decisions. The terms of reference are quite broad including the nature of the international trade in aquarium fish, identifying species in trade, regulations and best practice management, sustainability and livelihoods benefits. This last point is of major concern for us, as the collection of marine ornamental fish provides livelihoods for people in some of the poorest nations

    We will update you as more news and details of the workshop are released.

  • 1 Oct 2023 06:22 | Anonymous

    Recently the USA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a new regulation that would effectively ban imports of the Banggai Cardinalfish or BCF (Pterapogon kauderni) in the USA. The proposed regulation can be viewed here:

    OFI is opposed to the proposed regulation as it is unlikely to have any impact on the conservation of BCF in the wild, and would negatively impact efforts by industry to develop aquacultured BCF for the international market. It would appear that NOAA has largely ignored a mountain of information demonstrating that the current trade in this species, and the current management plan for BCF, are producing positive conservation outcomes and meets several of the UN Development Goals. It also ignores the fact that the vast majority of BCF imported into the USA are in fact aquacultured and not sourced from the wild, and so do not put any pressure on the wild population.

    The CITES Animals Committee has debated the listing of the BCF on several occasions. The CITES Animals Committee and the CITES Secretariat have been deeply engaged with the Indonesian government on the development and implementation of their BCF management plan; a plan which appears to be having the desired outcomes. CITES has agreed with this ultimately concluding that the management plan was robust and that the species did not require a CITES listing or further controls.

    We would humbly suggest that if CITES does not deem a ban on trade to be needed for BCF, then an honest assessment of the scientific evidence available should lead NOA to the same conclusion and we would request that the proposed regulation be replaced in favor of one that protects the species by encouraging trade in sustainably raised and collected specimens.

    The deadline for public comment on the proposed regulation is 5pm US Eastern Standard Time 16 October – OFI would strongly advise industry supporters to make a submission by via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at the following link:

    Complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

  • 29 Sep 2023 14:22 | Anonymous

    We have received a Notification to the Parties from CITES (No.2023/116) which schedules the CITES Marine Ornamental Fishes Workshop to be held In Indonesia 5-9 February 2024. At this stage there are no other details - you can refer to the following link for the notification:


    OFI will be attending the workshop and working with other trade organisations to represent the aquarium industry. We will send out more details on the workshop as they come to hand.

  • 3 Apr 2023 16:29 | Anonymous

    As many of you will be aware, there have been recent changes to the import regulations in Italy, to ban the import and trade of all 'wild animals' including aquarium organisms. 

    The issue of compliance to this regulation was recently flagged by AIPA, the Italian Pet industry association, and investigations indicate that a number of operators were shipping wild caught fish to Italy that were not properly identified as such, in breach of the Italian regulations. This may in part be due to the process for the import of pet and aquarium being somewhat unclear in Italy which has led to confusion amongst industry operators as to how they are to identify captive bred versus wild caught organisms – it should also be noted that public aquariums in Italy can still import wild caught species which further complicates the regulations. However, this does not rule out the possibility of operators knowingly falsifying documents to enable them to be shipped to Italy illegally.

    While we are opposed to this regulation as there is no scientific basis to it, OFI does not condone any illegal activity. As an industry with international supply chains, we have the responsibility to ensure we trade only in those species that can be traded legally, and within the national and international legal requirements of the countries we are trading in. Last weekend the OFI President sent an email to all OFI members reminding them of this fact. We are pleased to say that many members contacted us after this to lend their support to our statement.

    It should also be noted that many OFI and other industry members are dedicating significant resources to improving the sustainability of our industry through training of collectors, supply chain improvements, coral reef restoration and management, captive breeding programs, etc. These types of activities are to be applauded and no doubt put these operators at the forefront of the future of our industry. 

    OFI believes it is vital to the future of our industry that we behave in a responsible manner and operate our businesses within the law, whether we agree with the specific laws or not. Illegal activities jeopardises the effects of our industry’s combined efforts to build a sustainable future and put at risk the whole institution of pet and ornamental fish keeping.

  • 11 Mar 2023 13:19 | Anonymous

    We have been looking at options for the 2023 OFI Annual General Meeting, and it is our pleasure to announce that we will be holding the OFI 2023 AGM during Nusatic 2023, on 14 to 16 July 2023 at the ICE Exhibition Centre Jakarta, Indonesia

    Nusatic 2023 provides a great venue for our AGM as it is becoming one of the world's largest aquatic show with a growing trade exhibition showcasing local and international brands, as well as many large scale fish competitions, aquascaping demonstrations and competitions, as well as public seminars, and farm tours. 

    The AGM will be held on Friday 14th July 2023 from 16:30 (09:30 GMT) to 18:30 (11:30 GMT) with a social gathering to be held at the conclusion of the AGM. The AGM will be held live and live-streamed for members that are unable to attend. The agenda and other necessary documents will be provided closer to the date.

    We would like to invite all OFI members to attend, this will be a great opportunity for importers to visit one of the largest production and export country in the world and to meet with suppliers. It’s also a good base to visit with your suppliers from other countries as well! For our exporting members it is a great opportunity to meet new customers and we strongly encourage exporters from other countries to attend for this reason. The other key reason to attend is it is the first major aquatic tradeshow to be held in Asia since COVID-19 and a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and industry colleagues and make plenty of new contacts.
    Please note that the meeting is ‘closed’, i.e. it is reserved exclusively for OFI-members. Only the Executive Board and its chairman, our President, can give permission for non-OFI members to participate in the AGM. Please also note that only members that are up to date with their membership fee have the right to vote.

    For more information on the ICE Exhibition centre click here

    The easiest accommodation for Nusatic is the official show hotel located adjacent to ICE for easy access.

    For reservation and special rate contact Nusatic administrators on

  • 10 Jul 2022 10:03 | Anonymous

    The EU Member States have accepted the EU authorities’ proposal – inspired from the one made jointly by OFI and EPO - to distinguish the Labridae family species by solely listing the five North Atlantic Labridae species (i.e., Centrolabrus exoletus, Centrolabrus rupestris, Labrus mixtus, Labrus bergylta and Symphodus melops) that are carriers of Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and by removing the listing of the other Labridae species.

    The decision has just been released in the EU Official Journal with the updated list of aquatic diseases and group of species; enabling the imports of tropical species of Wrasse to be resumed from July 5th, 2022.

    Thanks to the efforts made jointly by OFI and EPO, the Labridae family species has been taken out of this updated list which includes the latest findings on OIE activities for aquatic species.


    When the ban for wrasse imports was implemented in early February 2022, OFI made several submissions to the EU authorities on behalf of our industry to have this overturned. This included our proposal to place restrictions on only known carriers of VHS within the Labridae family and to allow the trade of tropical species not associated with VHS. OFI has supported its submission through scientific evidence that VHS is a viral disease affecting Salmonid species, which represents a major concern to the aquaculture industry in Europe where five of the abovementioned North Atlantic wrasse species are used as parasite control agents in salmon farms

  • 12 Jun 2022 09:13 | Anonymous

    25 May 2022 – The Annual General Meeting for Ornamental Fish International (OFI) was held at Interzoo on 24th May, attended by a large contingent of members at the event, as well as members unable to attend the event in person attending online from members around the world

    This year there were 5 Executiuve Board member positions up for re-election, including: Shane Willis (President of OFI) – National Aquaculture Training Institute Pty Ltd, (Australia), Svein A. Fosså (Vice president) – Akvariekonsulenten (Norway), Dr Tim Miller-Morgan – Oregon University (USA), Lim Meng Huat – Apollo Aquarium (Singapore), Ekembra Koroye – Avis Aquarium Supply (Nigeria). All were re-elected unopposed.

    There were 2 Board of Advisors position up for reelection with Ran Epsteen – Colors (Israel) re-elected and a new candidate Ike Peng – Aquababe (China) elected unopposed.

    As well as a the normal business the AGM featured 3 presentations discussing the challenges our industry faces globally and within the EU, as well as un update of what impact COVID-19 has had on the aquarium industry in terms of international.

    Re-elected President of OFI, Mr Shane Willis commented “Its great to have the support of our members in our Executive and Board of Advisors. The past 3 years have been challenging for our industry and the world. Rising freight costs, and lack of flights have made it difficult for many of our members, and now due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine we see further pressure on freight and fuel costs which causes uncertainty and more pressure to our markets. However, we have seen significant increases in the demand for aquarium fish and related products over the past 3 years which is very positive for us.”

  • 21 Jan 2021 05:57 | Anonymous

    OFI is proud to be a partner of the 3rd International Ornamental Fish Conference to be held 25 – 26 February 2021, and for the first time will be held online to enable greater access for the world industry!

    The theme for the virtual conference is SUSTAINABILITY AND THE FUTURE OF THE ORNAMENTAL FISH INDUSTRY, participants will have the opportunity to interact in several sessions on trade and markets, market access and barriers, farming and fish health, as well as marine ornamental fish breeding and rearing. The major pillar underpinning these discussions will be sustainability, in recognition of its importance for the future of the industry. The conference is ideal for Ornamental fish exporters, importers, breeders, farmers, traders, industry leaders, policy makers, government officials, researchers, academics and service providers.

    Registrations received after 22nd January 2021 will be charged US$55 per delegate for INFOFISH non-member countries and US$25 for delegates from INFOFISH member countries and OFI members. Registration includes e-conference booklet, online INFOFISH International Magazine, sponsor brochure etc. There will be no refunds for cancellations; however a substitute delegate may attend at no extra charge.


    To download an information brochure click here


    To go to the INFOFISH website to register click here

  • 12 Nov 2020 10:30 | Anonymous

    Amersfoort, The Netherlands – October 30, 2020 – It is with great pleasure that OFI announces Mr Scott Dowd, co-founder of Project Piaba, the 2020 OFI Award for his work with Amazonian ornamental fisheries and sustainable livelihoods for the indigenous people of the Amazon.

    Scott Dowd has dedicated years to research in the sustainable livelihoods of high-value aquarium fish for people residing in areas of critical biological importance to thrive in a way that makes it a viable way to preserve the Amazon tropical forests and waterways. Project Piaba works with fishing communities, providing training and mentoring to improve fishing techniques and supply chain logistics which improves livelihood outcomes for indigenous people, as well as promoting these fish to markets in the USA and beyond. Scott has published widely, including the OFI Journal on Project Piaba's work and is recognised widely for his work in the industry. His tireless work in developing and promoting sustainable collection in the Amazon to help provide sustainable livelihoods for indigenous peoples is highly commendable and he is well respected in the industry for these contributions. 

    The award was presented during a OFI quarterly members meeting held online at which Scott was making a presentation about his work. OFI President Shane Willis said “Scott is a very deserving candidate of the award, he has worked tirelessly on Project Piaba as well as various other works towards promoting the industry and bringing public aquariums and the hobby sector together, we thank Scott for his contributions to our industry. His tireless work in developing and promoting sustainable collection in the Amazon to help provide sustainable livelihoods for indigenous peoples is to be applauded and we look forward to continuing to work with him into the future.”

    Buy a fish, save a tree!

  • 17 Oct 2020 10:42 | Anonymous

    Ornamental Fish International (OFI) welcomes the appointment of two new members to our Board of Advisors, Mr H. Chrishantha Alexander, Managing Director of Seylon Aquatics (Pvt) Ltd of Sri Lanka, and Mr Rajanta Sinardja Rahardja of CV Bellenz, Indonesia. Both new members were selected by members in their countries and act on their behalf to provide input to  the executive on issues affecting their region and help to facilitate membership and communication.

    The new positions were created out of recognition of Indonesia and Sri Lanka both to the ornamental fish industry as major exporting countries and the large number of members in these countries. OFI President Shane Willis sad “Indonesia and Sri Lanka are major producers and exporters of ornamental fish that were currently not represented at the board level of OFI, a decision was taken at the last AGM to expand our Board of Advisors to include a representative from each of these countries”.


    Rajanta has been an OFI member since 2010 and is a world-renowned expert on breeding rare L-number catfish. He has held positions on a number of government working groups and industry associations in Indonesia, and is an active advocator for the industry in Indonesia. Chrishantha has a solid background in the industry having started working for John Keells Aquariums in 1993 where he was promoted up to Senior Marketing Executive. He established his own export business in 2003 which has been an OFI member for over 10 years. Chrishantha is currently the president of Association of Live Tropical Fish Exporters of Sri Lanka.


    The appointment of these two new positions will allow OFI to work more in these two important countries, Willis said “I have known Chrishantha and Rajanta for many years and both are excellent appointments to the Board of Advisors I look forward to working with them in the future.”

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