Ornamental Fish International and our partner trade organisations, the European Pet Organisation and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association, welcome the decision by the CITES Animals Committee to extend the reporting scheduling of the work on marine ornamental fishes, allowing recommendations to be made to the 20th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (due to take place in 2023).

The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has created challenges for all of us, not least restricting our capacity as trade associations to meet physically with our members to discuss the needs of this project as we had intended. These challenges are likely to impact the quality of data that can be collected from industry to ensure a balanced discussion can be undertaken, based on facts and not assumptions or incomplete data.

We are eager to make this project a success as we believe it offers a tremendous opportunity to ensure sustainable trade in marine ornamental fish for the future, and a clear pathway for industry to achieve this. Given the extended window of opportunity now in front of us OFI, EPO and OATA believe there is the good opportunity to start discussions to consider how we can best work together and to develop a roadmap for our future work and direction of the project. We would hope this can be a face-to-face meeting to enable us to have the fluid and open debate we consider important in ensuring we are all working together as productively as we can.