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H.R. 669 Update - Bill Killed in committee

Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act too Broad<= o:p>

The proposed “Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act”—H.R. 669—went before the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife.  If passed, = this bill could have ended the marine aquarium hobby as we know it, but, after compelling testimony from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)= and countless e-mails, letters and phone calls from pet owners (including mar= ine aquarium hobbyists), the bill was determined to be less than perfect, and= it will not move forward at this time.

Testimony from Marshall Meyers, CEO and General Counsel of PIJAC proved effective in stopping the forward momentu= m of H.R. 669. Representing the pet industry and, in turn, pet owners, Meyers testified that the passage of the bill would effectively put an end to ma= ny aspects of the pet industry. As Meyers’ explained, the pet industry does “support the development of a strategic, risk-based process to prevent the introduction of invasive species into the United States”, but the cur= rent language of the bill simply went too far.

H.R. 669 would have banned the import of many nonnative species including saltwater aquarium fishes, corals and ot= her invertebrates. This would have prevented millions of American from keepin= g, breeding, studying, and appreciating these marine aquarium animals in a responsible manner.

At Aqua Scapes, it is our belief that the conscientious marine aquarist can be on the front line of marine conservation. Ending the hobby would be ending an important way for peopl= e to appreciate, understand and, ultimately, conserve the world’s reef environments. We strongly believe that we must take steps as an industry = and as individual hobbyists to prevent invasive, non-indigenous species like lionfish from threatening native wildlife, but ending the hobby was not, = is not and will never be the right solution.

We look forward to moving forward in a constructive and responsible manner--to doing what it takes to give hobby= ists the tools they need to be responsible, while at the same time promoting a robust and sustainable industry that continues to allow the fishes, corals and other invertebrates to inspire awe in all who have the privilege of keeping them.