The question came up about the relevancy of the ACA. It’s just a fish club, right?
Nope! The ACA is the only aquarium hobby organization that is involved in the funding of both research and conservation projects. The recent BB (292) had Wayne Leibel’s report on past research projects. When you consider, that over the past 10 years, the ACA was an integral part of 36 University-level research projects, it’s pretty impressive.
Also, on the conservation side, the ACA has funded the rehabilitation of the animal holding facility at the University of Antananarivo and the KIMFRI laboratory’s aquarium room in Kisumu. The ACA also continues to help fund, in conjunction with the Zoological Society of London, the conservation efforts of Guy Tam Hyok’s captive breeding operation of Malagasy cichlids in Andapa. We also purchased an outboard motor for the Park Rangers at Lake Malawi National Park. ACA may also be contributing to the construction of a permanent Ranger’s Station at the park to help protect that area from overfishing. ACA is also involved with the Lake Victoria Species Survival Group and ACA CARES. I would need to go back and read past BB‘s to find other projects.
No other aquarium-related organization does anything like the above!
In addition to the above benefits, membership provides access to the monthly newsletter, the Buntbarsche Bulletin (ACA’s journal), a registration discount to the annual convention, and access to the Cichlid Room Companion (perhaps the single best online resource for cichlid information).
In my opinion, all cichlid enthusiasts should become an ACA member. The organization does many great things for cichlids and the hobby.