Pet Advocacy Network Refutes Negative Depiction of Global Aquarium Trade by Associated Press 



Statement from Executive Vice President Bob Likins:  

“The Pet Advocacy Network, on behalf of the responsible aquarium industry, disputes the inaccurate picture the October 19 Associated Press story ‘Sparkling Fish, Murky Methods’ paints of the global aquarium trade.    

First, responsible aquarium collectors stopped using cyanide in fish collection decades ago and the industry continues to invest significant time and money into legislative and educational efforts aimed at eliminating the practice worldwide. We are committed to ensuring a clean trade and invest in many organizations and outreach campaigns to support this goal, including LINI, the Bali-based nonprofit featured in the article.  

The responsible aquarium trade is also driving considerable research to develop a cyanide field test that could be used to safeguard a clean trade closer to the point of collection. The article left out that Dr. Rhyne is not only a marine biology professor, but he is also a leading scientist in some of this research on methods to detect the use of cyanide in collected fish.  

Additionally, recent scientific advances have made it far from ‘often impossible’ to breed and raise ornamental saltwater fish in captivity. In the past five years there has been a notable increase in the number of marine species that can be aquacultured. This purposeful cultivation is a sustainable complement to wild collection that has already reduced pressure on targeted species and threatened environments.   

The aquatics industry long ago embraced responsible collection as the only path to a viable future for both the aquarium hobby and for the fishers and the local economies who depend on the trade. We support the efforts of governments, law enforcement, conservation organizations and all who join us in our goal of an ethical and sustainable aquarium trade.” 


About Pet Advocacy Network 

The Pet Advocacy Network, formerly known as the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), connects the experience and expertise of the responsible pet care community to lawmakers and governing bodies, advocating for legislative and regulatory priorities at the local, state, federal and international levels. Since 1971, the organization has worked to promote animal well-being and responsible pet ownership, foster environmental stewardship, and ensure access to healthy pets, including small animals, cats, dogs, fish, reptiles and birds. Pet Advocacy Network members include retailers, companion animal suppliers, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, pet hobbyists, and other trade organizations. 

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Media Contact

Gwyn Donohue
Vice President of Communications and Membership
202-452-1525, x1080, [email protected]