Marine Aquarium Council News: 3rd Quarter 2001

Paul Holthus paul.holthus at
Wed Oct 10 14:45:06 EDT 2001

      Certification for Quality and Sustainability
      in the Collection, Culture and Commerce of Marine Ornamentals

      MAC News            =       3rd Quarter 2001


      In this issue of MAC News, we are pleased to announce the upcoming launch
      of the MAC Certification system and to recognize industry operators,
      public aquarium personnel and private hobbyists who are already committed
      to its success. You will also be updated on the MAC feasibility studies
      and test cases and learn about our upcoming marketing campaign. Answers to
      your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on certification are now posted on
      the MAC Website.

      MAC Certification Launch and Logo Unveiling Set for November

      The MAC Certification system will be launched Nov. 27, 2001, during the
      2nd International Conference on Marine Ornamentals, Orlando, Fla. The MAC
      Certification label will also be unveiled at this time. The certification
      launch means collection areas and industry operators can become MAC
      Certified, using the MAC Standards and accreditation and certification
      system that will have been finalized following completion of field tests.
      Numerous marine aquarium industry operators, especially exporters and
      importers, have signaled their plans to become certified as soon as
      possible. For more information, contact
      David.Vosseler at

      Industry Statement of Commitment to MAC Certification Now Available

      Companies interested in becoming MAC Certified are being asked to send MAC
      a signed "Statement of Commitment."  Companies that sign the statement
      will be listed on the MAC Web site as having made this commitment. By
      signing the "Statement of Commitment," companies agree to
      =B7     Seek to become certified as soon as possible and inform their
      suppliers and buyers of this.
      =B7     Actively educate their suppliers and buyers about the benefits of
      following standards for an environmentally sound and sustainable industry
      and being MAC Certified.
      =B7     Promote MAC Certification as evidence of their company=92s
      =B7     Use their best efforts to seek suppliers and buyers who also
      follow the MAC Standards.
      =B7     Distribute MAC brochures and other materials with shipments to
      suppliers and buyers.
      =B7     Send to MAC, in confidence, a list of their suppliers and buyers
      to assist industry outreach.
      =B7     Provide import/export data, in confidence, to the Global Marine
      Aquarium Database.

      Interested industry operators can download the statement
      Industry Responds Favorably to MAC Outreach

      U.S. importers, wholesalers and retailers showed overwhelming support for
      MAC Certification during recent industry outreach efforts. In August,
      presentations by MAC Executive Director Paul Holthus and others at the
      Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) Conference in
      Baltimore, Md., were enthusiastically received. In his keynote speech, JEN
      (Charlie) Veron, author of Corals of the World, praised MAC efforts to
      ensure the marine ornamental trade is sustainable. The MAC booth
      distributed hundreds of brochures, and the MAC Network grew to nearly
      2,700 members. Industry support for MAC continued strong in September
      during meetings with major marine aquarium importers and wholesalers in
      the Los Angeles area. Eight agreed to participate in the MAC Certification
      test cases in October and others committed to becoming MAC Certified as
      soon as possible. MAC Industry Coordinator David Vosseler spearheaded the
      East and West Coasts efforts and will target the Chicago area in October
      in conjunction with the Backer Trade Show and the Florida area in November
      in conjunction with the Marine Ornamentals Conference.

      In Indonesia, the Association of Coral and Fish Exporters (AKKII) has
      agreed to
            =B7     Activ= ely promote MAC Certification among AKKII members;

      =B7     Enco= urage AKKII members to seek MAC Certified organisms from all
      of its suppliers and work to ensure that its buyers become MAC Certified;
      =B7     Provide support to all capacity building activities conducted by
      MAC partner organizations.

      Public Aquarium Partnerships Continue to Strengthen

      Public aquarium support for MAC Certification is making headway on several
            =B7     The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), which met
            this September in Saint Louis, is finalizing its draft acquisition
            policy, which strongly supports MAC Certification.
            =B7     The Ocean Project (TOP)?a collaboration of aquariums, zoos,
            museums and other educational instituitons?continues to feature MAC
            in its quarterly newsletters.

      =B7     SeaW= eb is working with MAC to broker relationships with public
      aquariums interested in hosting national and regional media events
      promoting MAC Certification.

      Pubic aquariums are being asked to support MAC Certification through these
            =B7     Commi= t to buying only MAC Certified organisms when
            available and advertise that commitment to suppliers and the public.

      =B7     Adve= rtise support for MAC in aquarium display areas, Web sites,
      newsletters, public forums, etc., and distribute MAC information on
      sustainable fisheries.

      Hobbyist Outreach Efforts Ramp Up

      A presentation for hobbyist clubs and aquarium societies on sustainable
      aquarium fisheries is being developed to increase consumer awareness of
      and confidence in MAC Certification. It will initially be delivered by MAC
      spokespersons and eventually be available on video. MAC is also beefing up
      its presence on the Internet. Mary Middlebrook, an importer/wholesaler in
      the Los Angeles area, hosted a chat session that promoted MAC on
      on Sept. 23. The transcript is available at at

      Update: Certification Feasibility Studies and Test Cases

      The Philippines Feasibility Studies indicate that several reef-to-export
      chains can participate in the certification test cases at the end of
      October 2001. Most encouraging is the very high level of achievement of
      less than 1 percent dead on arrival (DOA) from reef to collector and in
      many cases 0 percent DOA. MAC=92s partner in the Philippines feasibility
      work, International Marinelife Alliance, has trained several collector
      cooperatives in the independent certification process. Interaction and
      feedback from the sessions are enabling the training manuals for
      collectors to be finalized and published prior to the certification test
      cases. Test case participants will include Philippines reef-to-export
      chains and U.S. and European import-to-retail chains.

      New MAC Staff

      Sylvia Spalding and Michelle Lam joined the MAC staff recently. Sylvia
      heads the MAC communications efforts and is based in Honolulu. Michelle
      coordinates MAC efforts in the South Pacific and is based in Honiara,
      Solomon Islands. She replaced Esaroma Ledua, who was based in Fiji and
      resigned in July.

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