Steering Committee

Yoshitaka Abe, Director: Aquamarine Fukshima, Onahama, Japan

Yoshitaka Abe started working for the newly opened Ueno Zoo Aquarium in Tokyo in 1964, and enjoyed working there for 19 years. He then became Curator of the Insectarium Tama Zoo from 1983 to 1985, was engaged in the Tokyo Sea Life Park project, and acted as Director there from 1985 to 1995. He was General Curator of the Ueno and Tama Zoo from 1995 to 1998, and Director of Ueno Zoo from 1998 to 2000. He started the Aquamarine Fukushima project and has been its Director since it opened in 2000. 

Brad Andrews, Chief Zoological Officer: SeaWorldParks and Entertainment, Orlando, Florida

Brad Andrews, Chief Zoological Officer for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, is responsible for all animal programmes at Sea World/Busch Gardens parks, including husbandry, breeding, training, beached animal rescue programmes, education and transportation, and acquisition procedures. He holds a Biology/Chemistry degree from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California. Andrews is a Board member of Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, a Steering Committee member of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, and a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, the International Wild Waterfowl Association, the Society of Marine Mammalogists, and the European Association for Aquatic Mammals. He is Past-chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Past-president of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine and Past-president of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. 

Patrick Garratt, Managing Director: Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa

After obtaining a degree in Marine Biology at the University of Natal, Pat Garratt joined the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban where he worked as a Marine Scientist for 12 years. During this period he studied the commercial and sport fisheries of KwaZulu-Natal and completed both MSc and PhD degrees. He was Curator of Seaworld Aquarium in Durban for three years before moving to Cape Town where he was given the opportunity, as Curator, to design and stock the Two Oceans Aquarium, which was under construction at the time. He held this position until September 2003, when he was promoted to Managing Director. During his tenure as Director, he has ensured that the Aquarium remains economically viable as a business, whilst continuing to develop its education, conservation and sustainability programmemes. He is currently Chair of the IAC Steering Committee and Vice Chair of the International Aquarium Forum (IAF).

Yukiko Hori, CEO: Enoshima Aquarium, Fujisawa City, Japan

Mrs Yukiko Hori has been the President and CEO of Enoshima Marine Corporation since 1974, Executive Director of the Enoshima Aquarium since 1986, and Executive Director of the Gifu World Fresh Water Aquarium since 2004. In 1993, to support the conservation of baiji (freshwater dolphins) in China, she assumed the position of Honorary Director of the Baiji Aquarium of the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In addition, she has been Councillor of the Japanese Foundation for the Promotion of Maritime Science since 2001, Auditor of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology since 2004, Member of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO since 2006, and Councillor of the Japanese Association of Museums since 2007. She received the Prime Minister’s award for meritorious services in 2005. She has been active in marine scientific research and related education, in contributing to environmental protection and in the fields of management of aquariums and museums.

Jurgen Lange, Director: Berlin Zoo (retired)

Born in 1942, Jurgen Lange studied Biology, Chemistry and Human Medicine before taking up the position of Scientific Assistant at Kiel University in 1969. From 1970 to 1977 he was Aquarium Curator at the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart. In 1977 he received a call from the Berlin Zoo requesting his assistance in renovating, modernizing and managing the Berlin Aquarium. He subsequently held the positions of General Curator, Director and CEO of the Berlin Aquarium from 1977 to 2007. Since 2007 he has been consulting for aquariums and zoos around the world, and from 2011 he has been collaborating with Motofumi TAI in Tokyo. 

John Nightingale, President: Vancouver Marine Science Centre, Vancouver, Canada

Dr John Nightingale has been the president and CEO of the Vancouver Aquarium since 1993. A professional biologist and educator, Nightingale has been responsible for the development and operation of some of the world’s best aquariums, and aquarium programmes. Coming to the Vancouver Aquarium from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium, he began his career as the founding General Curator at the Seattle Aquarium. In addition, he helped found the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Maui Ocean Centre, and Shark Reef in Las Vegas. During his 17 years at the Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. Nightingale has guided the Aquarium’s international leadership in research, conservation, new communications and public engagement. The Vancouver Aquarium is now one of the “greenest” cultural institutions in Canada, and is the only financially self-sufficient institution operating without an annual subsidy from government.

Nadia Ounaïs, Executive Director: Institut Océanographique, Monaco

Nadia Ounaïs is the Executive Director of the Oceanographic Institute, comprising sites in Monaco (Oceanographic Museum) and Paris (Oceanographic Institute). She is in charge of the aquarium, conference, workshop, animation and educational departments. At first, Nadia specialised in aquaculture and implemented sea-bream culture techniques. In Monaco, she developed techniques for coral culture. Nadia is President of the European Union of Aquarium Curators, and a founding member of both the World Ocean Network and the International Aquarium Foundation. The Oceanographic Museum initiated the International Aquarium Congress and has organised this meeting three times.

Julie Packard, Executive Director: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay, California, USA

Julie Packard is a Marine Biologist and founding Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium – the first major public aquarium dedicated to interpreting the marine life of a single region. Through its Center for the Future of the Oceans, the Aquarium advocates for sound conservation policy, including marine protected areas and a comprehensive overhaul of national ocean policy. She received the 1998 Audubon Medal for Conservation and was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.

Jerry Schubel, President & CEO: Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California, USA

In 2002, Dr Jerry R Schubel became President and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. He serves as the Director of the Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Research Institute and its Aquatic Forum. From 1994 to 2001, he was President and CEO of the New England Aquarium and is now President Emeritus. From 1974 to 1994 he was Dean and Director of the Marine Sciences Research Center of SUNY Stony Brook, and for three of those years served as the University’s Provost. He holds a BS degree from Alma College, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Harvard University, and a PhD in Oceanography from Johns Hopkins University. He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1998. Schubel has long been active in regional, national and international environmental affairs, particularly associated with the coastal ocean.

Philippe Vallette, General Manager: Nausicaá, Centre de la Mer, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Philippe Vallette is an Oceanographer who is fascinated by the sea and the people who make a living from it. Diving and underwater fauna and fishery resources have been determining factors in his career. He worked for a number of marine laboratories before devoting himself completely to Nausicaá, a complex of international standing devoted to the discovery of the marine environment and to increasing public awareness of the need for better management of the oceans. In recent years, he has concentrated on developing the World Ocean Network, an educational organisation whose members are aquariums, science centres, museums and educational centres under the auspices of the Global Forum on Oceans and UNESCO. He is President of the World Festival of Underwater Pictures.

Paul Van den Sande, Executive director: EUAC

Paul Van den Sande worked for the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp as Curator of Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles and Insects from 1963 to 1983, and as General Curator of its department of Zoology from 1984 to 1993. From 1993 to 2000 he was the Operations Manager of the Antwerp Zoo. He is a founding member of the European Union of Aquarium Curators. In 2004 he was charged by the steering committee of the International Aquarium Congress to create and manage the International Aquarium Forum (IAF).

Liang Wang, General Manager: Ocean Aquarium, Shanghai, China

Wang Liang, General Manager of Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (SOA) and Underwater World Xiamen (UWX), is responsible for the overall management of both aquariums. He is the Senior Vice President (Business Development) of the Singapore-based Straco Corporation Limited (parent company of SOA and UWX). Currently, Mr Wang Liang represents SOA on the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Trade Association (Attractions Division) as Vice Director, the Shanghai Pudong New Area Tourism Association as Director, and the Aquarium Committee of the China Wildlife Conservation Association as Vice Director.

Hu Wei Yong, General Manager: Bejing Aquarium, Beijing, China

Mr Hu Wei Yong has been the General Manager of the Beijing Aquarium and Vice Chairman of the China Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association since 2008.

Xianfeng Zhang, Professor of Marine Mammalogy, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China

Xianfeng Zhang, Professor of Marine Mammalogy and Hydrobiology, has been working on river dolphin research and conservation since 1983, including ecology, husbandry, breeding, training, stranding rescue, conservation and education programmemes, aquarist training and aquarium-construction consulting. He holds a PhD in Hydrobiology from the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, China. Zhang is a trustee of the Chinese Association of Natural Science History Museum, Vice President and Secretary General of Wuhan Baiji Conservation Foundation, and a member of the Standing Committee of China Aquarium Association, the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group of IUCN, and the Chinese Association of Mammalogy.


9 to 14 September 2012
Cape Town International Convention Centre
Cape Town, South Africa

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Did You Know

There are 11 official languages in SA. English is the language of administration and is widely spoken. Other languages are: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.