Aquatics Issues

Your freedom to responsibly own fish is at risk.


Safeguard your hobby.

PIJAC is organizing members and supporters to fight for the long-term viability of having fish as pets. We urgently need your help with these critical issues:

  • Endangered Species Act Petitions to list the orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula), the yellowtail damselfish (Microspathodon chrysurus), and the Banggai cardinalfish (Pteropogon kauderni) could terminate all imports into the U.S. and ban interstate movement of both wild harvested and captive bred fish within the U.S.
    NOTE:December 16, 2014 — NMFS published proposed rule to list Banggai and several other species under the ESA.

  • The NOAA decision to list 20 species of corals as "endangered" or "threatened" species will ban all imports, prevent interstate commerce and shut down U.S. coral culturing operations, unless unprecedented exemptions are granted to allow continued commercial take, importation, and interstate commerce of wild species, or at a minimum aqua-cultured specimens of those species.

  • The similarity of appearance rule could significantly broaden the reach and impacts of any ruling to list any fish or invertebrate species under the Endangered Species Act, causing sweeping impacts to our trade and the hobby. A large number of the coral species in trade are difficult to differentiate from those that have been listed.

  • Ongoing anti-trade litigation and industry-crippling bill introductions at both the County and State levels in Hawaii are posing serious threats to the survival of the aquarium trade fishery in Hawaii. These efforts rooted in moral and ethical-differences often discount the science, data, and ultimately the reality of the best managed near-shore fishery in the state. Needless to say, the effects of a Hawaiian aquarium trade shut-down would be devastating.

  • Visit the Aquatics Committee’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)for more information about PIJAC and the Aquatic Committee’s activities. The FAQs will be updated on routine basis so important to keep checking for the most up-to-date information.

Take Action

We continue to track legislative and regualtory issues, please check back often.

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Aquatics Community News & Updates

PIJAC submits comments on NMFS Section 4(d) rule

On March 16, 2015, PIJAC submitted comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Request for Information for the Issuance of Protective Regulations under Section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act for the Conservation of Threatened Corals. In summary, it is neither necessary nor advisable to adopt a Section 4(d) rule imposing Section 9 prohibitions on the listed coral species. Such a rule would not further conservational goals, and likely would be practically impossible to effectively implement. PIJAC stands ready to work with NMFS to develop collaborative programs that will benefit these and other acquatic species. Download a PDF of submitted comments here.

NMFS seeking public comments on issuing protective regulations for 20 corals species

On January 13, 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register requesting public input regarding the potential need for protective regulations for 20 coral species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (80 Fed. Reg. 1616). These 20 coral species were previously listed by NMFS on September 10, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 53,851). Fifteen of these corals are Indo-Pacific species; 5 are Caribbean species. Learn more.

PIJAC's Aquatic Committee: Activities Protecting the Aquatics Community

Since the October 2009 Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) petition to list 83 species of corals as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a group of aquatics industry leaders worked with PIJAC to identify the trade impact associated with a NOAA determination to list these species and to develop strategies to ensure a more favorable outcome. Learn more.

From Reefs.com: PIJAC - An organization we should all support | By Rich Ross

Today, the Aquatics Committee of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) sent a letter to Marine Aquarium Societys of North America (MASNA) detailing it’s mission and successes to date. I couldn’t be more happy – finally an organization with a clear message and call to action that we can all support....  Learn more.

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Resources & Downloads

PIJAC Aquatics Packet

The following materials have been prepared by PIJAC and our partners at the Pet Leadership Council to help you, on the front lines, tell our story. We hope you'll use these handouts and articles to educate your employees, your customers and your colleagues throughout the industry. Please share them widely and direct those interested in more information to www.pijac.org or the new PLC-sponsored website www.happyhealthyfish.pet. Most of all, we ask you to help us show the industry's commitment to responsible aquarium-keeping by sharing this information and continuing to advocate for the responsible pet industry.
Please click on the links below to download individual documents:


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