The 8th International Aquarium Congress
Every four years, representatives from Aquariums across the globe convene to exchange information and knowledge during the International Aquarium Congress (IAC). In September, CMA Director Mike Schaadt and Director of Exhibits Ed Mastro attended the 8th IAC meeting hosted by the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa.
The theme for this event was, “The global aquarium community: sharing experiences and collectively inspiring change.” As part of this theme, Schaadt gave a presentation about Youth on Board, a video contest hosted by CMA, Nausicaá Aquarium in Boulogne sur Mer, France and Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The discussion focused on the importance of engaging today’s youth about ocean conservation using social media.
“We presented about the Youth on Board partnership with the intent for other Aquariums to join our program next year or start similar programs,” said Mastro. “With more Aquariums participating, the program can expand to engage youth internationally and encourage youth to play stronger ocean conservation roles.”
The presentation generated many great questions and a couple of Aquariums expressed interest in launching similar programs. Schaadt also presented a poster at the IAC he co-authored with Birch Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
“The paper discussed how Aquariums can work together to have sustainable jellyfish displays by exchanging culture techniques, sharing surplus jellies and increasing communication among jellyfish specialists,” said Schaadt. “Other Aquariums were able to find out where to get jellyfish, who has them and how to sign up for the jellyfish listserve that notifies everyone of surplus jellies available for new homes.”
Overall, the 8th IAC turned out to be another successful event where Aquarium representatives were able to learn from each other and exchange best practices. “We carried the message of what Cabrillo is doing and shared that message with colleagues around the world. Other Aquariums and Zoos truly value what we are doing here in San Pedro,” said Schaadt. “CMA is practicing cutting edge research techniques and we are internationally recognized as a leader. We also learned things other Aquariums are doing to improve that we plan on implementing in marine education.”
Post Date: Friday, October 05, 2012