DECLARATION OF THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL AQUARIUM CONGRESS MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA, USA 12/9/04

The 6th IAC declares that public aquariums have a greater role than ever to play in advancing and promoting global conservation of aquatic environments. We must work to effect a significant transformation in human behavior to ensure a sustainable relationship with earth’s natural ecosystems and the survival of our civilization as we know it. Toward this end, public aquariums worldwide should increase their efforts in the following areas:

                  * Focus not only on nature but also on human activities that affect global aquatic ecosystems

                  * Inspire, engage and empower our audiences to become better stewards of aquatic

                    environments, with special focus on concrete actions that people can take in their everyday lives

                  * Ensure our institutional management practices are sustainable both commercially and 

                     environmentally.

To be more effective in achieving these results and to ensure we can create the successful aquarium of the future, we propose a new organization called the International Aquarium Forum, or IAF. Its mission is to actively promote communication among aquarium professionals worldwide for the advancement of conservation of global aquatic environments.

To plan this effort, members of the 6th IAC steering committee have agreed to continue to serve as the International Aquarium Forum founding committee. Paul Van den Sande has agreed to serve as chair of the founding committee and Patrick Garratt has agreed to serve as vice-chair, with additional committee members listed below. By the 7th IAC, a new method of selecting this committee will be proposed, circulated and adopted. The E.U.A.C. has agreed to provide staff support and to create and host a new web site during the planning phase for the IAF. During the next several months the current 6th IAC web site (IAC2004.ORG) will continue to serve as a vehicle for information exchange, after which the new web site will be established. A more detailed concept proposal for the IAF will be included in the proceedings of the 6th IAC.

The next congress will be held in four years; however, there is a desire to hold them more frequently. The congress will alternate among three global regions: Australasia, Europe/Africa and the Americas. The next congress will be held in Shanghai in 2008. The steering committee for the 7th IAC will be appointed by the host country, will have representation from the three global regions and will have some overlapping membership with the IAF founding committee.