The Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association is a trade Association of professional ornamental tropical fish and aquatic plant breeders, the mission of which is to represent its members in governmental matters, provide a cooperative for purchasing necessary materials to produce member products, and support research and development for the production of ornamental species.
The Association does not breed fish or grow plants, if you are looking for a supplier please use our Member Directory to find and contact the farms directly.
At this year’s Aquatic Lounge at the 2013 Global Pet Expo at the Orlando Convention Center in February the one comment I heard over and over was that the display of fish this year was the best in recent memory. I want to thank all of the farms who participated in this year’s Aquatic Lounge with some excellent livestock to show attendees that Florida farmers produce some outstanding fish and aquatic plants. A big to thanks Marineland and United Pet Group for once again doing an outstanding job of setting up and maintaining the MaRS units. While visiting with a number of members, buyers, and sellers during the three day Expo the consensus from those in the aquatic industry that I spoke with stated that they were seeing signs of an upturn in sales and were once again beginning to feel optimistic about the future.
One of the consequences of the Federal budget sequester that affected the tropical fish industry a few weeks ago was the stoppage of inspections of all imports and exports of wildlife and fish shipments after normal business hours by the US Fish and Wildlife Service at all points of entry. Since nearly all imports land in the US on weekends and after 5 pm this had a crippling effect on the tropical fish imported into the US. With the assistance of PIJAC we were able to convince Congress and the Department of Interior of the importance of this service and persuade them to reinstate this needed service after only being down one week. The major argument in our favor was in the fact importers have to pay an extra fee for all after hour inspections already. So in turn, the Agency was making money instead of losing money on after hour inspections. This is just one example of how FTFFA was able to help come to the aid of the tropical fish industry as we do so often.
The 2013 Florida Legislative Session is scheduled to adjourn on May 3. I am happy to report that as we head toward the end of the session, we have been successful of getting a significant amount of new funding allocated to IFAS aquaculture research and development projects. These new research funds, which will be recurring for a ten year period, will enable IFAS staff to budget and carry out multi-year research projects for the tropical fish and shellfish industry. Of course anything can happen until the budget in signed into law and accepted by the Governor but I am hopeful this new funding will pay big dividends to our industry.
Art Rawlins presents former Division of Aquaculture Director Leslie Palmer with a plaque of appreciation.
In February, Leslie Palmer announced that she was stepping down as Director of the Division of Aquaculture to take on a new position in another state agency. During her stewardship at the Division she was instrumental in forming a new direction for the Division the benefited Florida’s aquaculture industry and particularly tropical fish farming. Ms. Palmer established policy that will continue to benefit our industry for years to come. Her aggressive leadership and willingness to fight for our industry will be missed. As FTFFA’s President and a Aquaculture Review Council Committee member, I’m confident our new Acting Director Kal Knickerbocker – who has been with the Division since its creation – will strive to protect and promote all of Florida’s aquaculture commodities.
Just a few weeks away, is FTFFA’s Annual Membership Meeting/Dinner Night. Once again, we will be returning on June 8, to the Cypress Creek Golf Club in Ruskin. Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find a schedule of activities, map to the golf club, and registration form. We will once again, have door prizes and present one lucky winner with a pair of tickets to fly to any city served by Southwest Airlines. I urge all of you to show your support of your Association by attending and participating in our Annual Meeting.
I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting.
Life is good.
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