It was with great sadness that OATA learned of the death of Dr Alex Ploeg, Secretary General of Ornamental Fish International, his wife Edith, their son Robert and his friend Robin in the plane crash above Ukraine on Thursday, July 17. Our Chief Executive Keith Davenport knew Alex well and worked alongside him on many issues.
“First and foremost Alex and Edith were lovely people. Good natured, friendly and humorous were just a few of their qualities. I was lucky to meet and know them both and I will miss them. I did not know their son Robert directly but Alex and I did exchange family stories.
“On a professional level I spoke to Alex regularly, often daily. We co-operated on many issues of relevance to the UK ornamental trade. We never tried to decide who achieved what when we were successful; rather we enjoyed our success in working together. Alex provided the working basis of species which was used in the recent Import of Live Fish Act revision. The quality of his work is reflected by so few noticing any difference.
“He and I, along with colleagues in Germany, worked to remove the threat of import controls that could have followed if a listing of species susceptible to EUS (a fungal disease that can affect many tropical species and be carried by cold water species) had not been revoked by the EU. When the Invasive Regulation was in the European Parliament he unselfishly made sure I was invited to see key MEPs and to various meetings.
“His knowledge, his contacts, his style (always well-informed and organised prior to meetings), his openness and willingness to collaborate on and discuss issues means he will be missed by those who knew him and by the global industry.”