Within the ornamental aquatic industry, researchers/scientists, manufacturers and breeders will access material from animals, plants and micro-organisms which is of value both presently and potentially in the future (this is known as a genetic resource). Such material is used in the research and development of animal and plant breeds/strains, food and feeds and derivatives which can be used to develop treatments, so that such users can benefit both commercially and non-commercially (by increased knowledge).

On the 12 October 2014, an international agreement came into force called the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefits Sharing (ABS). The aim of the ABS is that an agreement is set up between the user of the genetic resource and the provider of that resource. The provider is the country of origin which is deemed to have sovereign rights to that resource and/or has provided traditional knowledge on how that resource can be used. Under this agreement, benefits gained by the user are shared in a fair and equitable way with the provider to enable conservation and sustainability.

The Nagoya Protocol has been implemented into UK legislation. These sectors of the ornamental aquatic industry may come under the scope of this legislation:

  • Animal and plant breeders
  • Bio-control
  • Biotechnology
  • Food and feed
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Research Institutions

Those who just trade animals, plants etc will most likely be outside the scope of the legislation but should be aware that they may be required to provide information on the country of origin.

Companies, organisations or individuals who fall under the scope of this legislation are required to exercise due diligence in ensuring that they comply with the measures required by countries which are signed up to the Nagoya Protocol. Information on required measures can be found via the Gov.uk Access and Benefit Sharing Clearing House (ABSCH). Due diligence declarations can be made via the Gov.uk online application DECLARE.

Further information on the Nagoya Protocol legislation, scope of the legislation and compliance requirements can all be found here.