SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson

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Public Aquaria Set to Make a Splash at Aquarama 2015

SINGAPORE, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aquarama is the leading biennial international ornamental fish, aquatic plants, invertebrates and accessories trade exhibition in the world (www.aquarama.com.sg). Throughout its history stretching back to 1989, it has attracted exhibitors, trade and public visitors from all corners of the globe. The 14th edition -- scheduled to run from 28-31 May 2015 in its traditional home of Singapore, will be no different -- with one important exception.

Aquarama logo

In addition to its usual complement of visitors from the international ornamental aquatic industry and the general public (numbering in the many thousands), it has always attracted a small number of visitors from the public aquarium world, as well as some exhibitors who supply both the ornamental and public aquarium sectors.

This is now set to change dramatically with the organisers (UBM Media (Singapore) Pte Ltd) and a specially convened public aquarium committee launching a programme of sub-events aimed specifically at public aquarium personnel. This committee, consisting of Scott Dowd (Senior Aquarist at the New England Aquarium, Boston, USA), Ramon Barbosa (Senior Curator at the S.E.A. Aquarium in Sentosa, Singapore) and Rob Jones ('The Aquarium Vet' and veterinarian at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, Australia) and co-ordinated by Aquarama Consultant, John Dawes, is devising a programme of activities tailored fairly and squarely to the needs of the public aquarium industry, as well as the fostering of closer links between the home aquarium industry and public aquaria.

Up to now, these links have only been modest. However, if developed to their full potential, this would undoubtedly benefit both industries. For instance, there are several livestock suppliers within the ornamental sector that already service public aquaria, but the room for expansion and improvement is considerable but, as yet, largely unexplored. The same applies to manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, foods, treatments, services, etc.

In order to address these issues, Aquarama is dedicating over 50% of its available seminar and meeting time slots to a number of activities aimed at bringing both industries closer together than ever before.

Round Table Discussion: Chaired by Aquarama Consultant, John Dawes, this will consist of a panel of invited experts, comprising the three above-mentioned committee members, government representatives, ornamental aquatic industry leaders, plus livestock suppliers. Under the theme: Engage, Influence and Collaborate: Maximising the Synergies of the Public and Home Aquarium Industries, attendance will be free and open to all Aquarama trade and public aquarium visitors and exhibitors, and will consist of a minimum of 1 1/2 hours of intense debate, action and Q&A's.

Seminar: This half-day programme of presentations from leading figures from the public aquarium world will feature topics of exclusive relevance to the industry, such as: Artificial Reproduction Techniques in Sharks and Rays, Prolonged Transportation and Captive Husbandry of Manta Rays;The Initiative to Promote Conservation and Sustainable Management of Home Aquarium Fishes, led by the IUCN Species Survival Commission/Wetlands International Freshwater Fish Specialist Group (FFSG) and the Global Zoo and Aquarium Community; Initiative to Promote Socially and Environmentally Beneficial Home Fishkeeping, plus several other topics which are currently being finalised.

Strategic Development Meeting: This in-depth session will discuss the IUCN's FFSG/public aquaria initiative set up to explore ways in which both industries can help drive environmental and socio-economic benefits, e.g. by identifying and promoting opportunities for sustainable management of wild populations of aquarium fishes that support livelihoods for communities living in regions of biological importance, thus fostering a powerful drive for conservation of these species as well as the habitats where they are found -- achieved via well-informed consumer choices within the home aquarium industry. The team to explore this new, ambitious, and important initiative (under the chairmanship of committee member, Scott Dowd) will create a win-win-win scenario where the hobby gets an infusion of energy from zoos and public aquaria (which will showcase fish identified by IUCN's FFSG as key species), thus promoting fishkeeping; zoos and aquaria will get a new instrument to achieve their goals of in-situ environmental protectionism; rural communities can receive sustainable economic returns for stewarding aquatic resources and watersheds, and the ornamental industry becomes a main actor in facilitating ethical supplies and helping alleviate poverty. This important meeting will last for a full afternoon (approximately four hours).

Too often, meetings of great importance such as this take place at international conferences. Important conclusions are reached by very well qualified specialists. Unfortunately though, those findings and discussed action plans fade away shortly after the meeting. In order to guarantee lasting outcomes from our Strategic Planning Meeting, we have retained the services of The Facilitators Network Singapore with trained experts to help us run the most efficient meeting, capture all information and produce a working document which will serve as a road map that will enable us to follow through and accomplish the goals we agree upon at Aquarama 2015.  

It is hoped that bringing public aquaria into Aquarama will benefit all parties, especially when added to the organiser's efforts to attract exhibitors who supply public aquaria but are currently unaware of the trade benefits and possibilities that Aquarama undoubtedly offers.

It is also hoped that by attracting visitors and exhibitors from public aquaria, these will gain an invaluable insight into an industry which they may be aware of, but know little about. These visitors will, for example, be able to witness at first hand a staggering array of fish, aquatic plants, invertebrates and equipment which they may never have come across before. They will also, of course, be able to source supplies of equipment, services and livestock for their own establishments, be able to attend the free ornamental aquatic trade and public seminars which form a traditional part of Aquarama, join the highly popular fish farm tour and marvel at the more than 1,400 entries in the general fish competition, as well as the specialised crystal bee shrimp, betta, marine aquarium, marine nano cube, freshwater planted aquarium, freshwater nano, and dragon fish (Asian arowana/bonytongue) competitions, which have helped make Aquarama the 'best ornamental aquatic exhibition' on the planet.

In the words of Jennifer Lee, event manager for Aquarama: "The ornamental aquatic sector has always supplied fish, plants and invertebrates to the home aquarium hobbyist, on the one hand, and public aquaria on the other. It could be said to lie in the middle, with the two sectors at either end of the spectrum. It is our aim to bring both ends much closer together than they've ever been before and establish our event as a 'must attend' fixture in the calendar of all stakeholders."

For further information on Aquarama, please visit www.aquarama.com.sg.

Notes to Editors

About UBM Media (Singapore) Pte Ltd (www.ubmasia.com.sg)

A member of the UBM Asia Group of Companies, we organise events and conferences in a variety of industries, including aquatic and pet, cruise tourism, information technology, jewellery, paper and nonwovens, etc. The company stages leading events in its targeted industries across the world, attracting quality exhibitors, trade visitors, conference attendees and speakers from all over the world. These events are important business platforms where our customers can meet and network with their existing and new business partners face-to-face.

About UBM Asia (www.ubmasia.com)

Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is Asia's leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in mainland China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global network of 30 offices and 1,300 staff in 24 major cities. We operate in 20 market sectors with 230 exhibitions and conferences, 23 trade publications, 20 online products for over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world.

About UBM plc (www.ubm.com)

UBM plc is a leading global company. We inform markets and bring the world's buyers and sellers together at events, online and in print and provide them with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional commercial communities, from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewellery traders, and from farmers to pharmacists around the world. Our 6,600 staff members in 31 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them to do business and to work effectively and efficiently in their respective markets.

About the Freshwater Fish Specialist Group (FFSG) (http://www.iucnffsg.org/)

The FFSG group was established in 2004 and is a joint partnership between the IUCN Species Survival Commission and Wetlands International. It is a diverse group of experts, spread across the world, working on the biology and conservation of freshwater fishes. The mission of the FFSG is to achieve conservation and sustainable use of freshwater fishes and their habitats through: generating and disseminating sound scientific knowledge; creating widespread awareness of their values; and influencing decision-making processes at all levels. The FFSG includes the newly forming Home Aquarium Fish Specialist Sub-Group, chaired by Scott Dowd.

Piaba Logo (Credit: Project Piaba)
illustrated cardinal tetra (Credit: Sally Landry)

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Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140825/139105
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140825/139106

SOURCE Aquarama 2015

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