The preliminary date for the IAC 2012 Business/Management sessions is Thursday 11 September.
Aquarium collection sustainability – planning for the future
By: Dennis A Thoney (PhD), Director of Animal Operations
Institution: Vancouver Aquarium, Canada
Public aquariums and zoos exhibit over 3 500 fish and aquatic invertebrate species. In 2011, North American aquariums alone held over 424 500 individual fishes and invertebrates. Acquiring these animals from the wild is logistically difficult and expensive and new legislation requires compliance with ever more permits and procedures. To address the sustainable acquisition of animals by North American aquariums, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) established the Aquatic Collection Sustainability Committee.
Creating a sustainable business model: Bigger vs better
By: James Hekkers, Managing Director
Institution: Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, USA
As a public aquarium, our ability to educate, inspire and motivate people to conserve the oceans depends on the long-term financial health of our business. Economic conditions, changing public perceptions and ageing infrastructure all threaten our sustainability. A key question for us has been whether to “get bigger” (expand in physical size and environmental impact) or “get better” (provide the necessary resources while minimising environmental impact). The lessons learned about this choice may inform other institutions contemplating their own sustainable business models.
Exhibit performance evaluation system
By: Claudia Gilli, DVM, PhD Director of Science and Veterinary Services – Costa Edutainment Spa
Institution: Acquario di Genova, Acquario di Livorno, Acquario di Cala Gonone, Acquario di Cattolica Ponte Spinola, 16128 Genova, Italy
Most industries are required to establish management control systems that allow for the evaluation of both company performance and product quality. Acquario di Genova has been certified in terms of accreditation systems regulating environmental management (ISO 14001), quality management (ISO 9001) and occupational health and safety (OHSAS 18001). This combination of certification systems ensures effective evaluation of every aspect of organizational management.
Improving system resilience in the Australian aquarium supply industry
By: Lyle V Squire, Director
Institution: Pro-vision Reef Inc & Cairns Marine, Cairns, Australia
Education and conservation awareness constitute the added value of aquarium displays. However, the value of aquarium supply fisheries is overlooked as politicians and NGOs lobby for ecosystem-scale marine protected areas. Suppliers on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the distant Coral Sea nearly lost our coral fishery, were excluded from vast areas of the Great Barrier Reef, and were affected by the implementation of a network of marine protected areas throughout Australia’s territorial waters.
Keynote – The aquarium business: Economic sustainability and continued growth in aquarium development
By: Elena Kazlas, Principal
Institution: ConsultEcon, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA
Since the last IAC in 2008 in Shanghai, aquariums have been operating in unprecedented economic conditions. The global economic downturn has challenged aquarium operators to seek creative strategies to sustain operations and improve revenue potential. Most have been able to sustain operations through these challenging times, and all are seeking improved business practices. While the economic sustainability of aquariums varies depending on their unique location, governance and competitive environment, high-quality and well operated aquariums are proven strong community resources for entertainment, education, conservation, and economic development.
Study and compilation on aquarium standards in China
By: Xianfeng Zhang (1, 2 , 3), Zhijie Guo (2), Weiyong Hu (2, 4), Liang Wang (5), Matthias Li (6), Yuanqun Wang (4), Junying Zhang (4), Hongwei Ding (7), Huaiqin Shi (8), Peijun Zhang (1, 3, 9) & Zhiping Yao (1, 3, 10)
Institutions: 1) Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China; 2) National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association, Beijing, China; 3) Key Lab of Aquatic Biodiversity and Resource Protection, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China; 4) Beijing Aquarium, Beijing, China; 5) Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Shanghai, China; 6) Ocean Park Corporation, Hong Kong, China; 7) Longmen Ocean World, Luoyang, Henan, China; 8) Taiyuan Underwater World at Taiyuan Yingze Park, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China; 9) Liaoning Ocean and Fisheries Science Research Institute, Dalian, China; 10) Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Wuhan, China
The aquarium industry in China has developed rapidly over the past two decades and is still growing. For this business to develop sustainably the aquatic environment and resources must be protected. Aquarium standards are therefore needed. With permission and support from the Ministry of Agriculture, we started researching and compiling aquarium standards in 2010.
Sustainability of the aquarium: Suffering and revival of the Aquamarine Fukushima
By: Yoshitaka Abe, Director
Institution: Aquamarine Fukushima, Marine Science Museum, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
Aquamarine Fukushima suffered serious damage when the earthquake and tsunami submerged part of institution. The accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant seriously obstructed restoration activities and we had to completely stop aquarium activities for a while. In April 2011, we slowly started restoration work, encouraging our staff with the slogan: ’Revive! Our Oceans’. Miraculously the main building covered with glass experienced little damage and the seawater intake pipeline survived. Thanks to volunteers, many kinds of support, and encouragement from all over Japan and abroad we re-opened on 15 July 2011 – our twelfth anniversary. We should like to express our deep and sincere appreciation to all our colleagues.
Sustainability: The sixth ‘S’ to fight crisis
By: Pablo Areitio, Director/Executive Director
Institution: Oceanogràfic, Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia, Spain
Since Oceanogràfic opened in 2003, management has been based on a “Five S” philosophy: Safety, Smile, Service, Sales and Savings. Although the sixth S of Sustainability was not initially one of our goals, it has always played an important role in the management of several departments, and actions towards sustainability have contributed to the success of Oceanogràfic.