The Southern Illinois Aquarsits Association is a brand new body which is aimed at forming new relationships between fish farmers, aquaculturists, LFS and just about any manner of persons in the professions dealing with the culture of aquatic life. Both the fresh and saltwater hobbies have grown at a decent rate and so too has the number of people who call themselves professional aquarists. With so many threats to the livelihood of aquarium professionals ranging from natural disasters, bureaucratic snafus and new government proposals seeking to restrict the trade in aquarium species, there has never been a more urgent need for precisely this kind of group to help coordinate all the people who have a vested interest in the aquarium, aquaculture and even fishing industries. These sectors are all interconnected and it’s about time they got together to see how much they have in common, and how much they can help each other. Tonight’s first meeting is open to the public, it will take place at 8pm at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Their first speaker tonight will be Kevin Kohen, director of LiveAquaria and a veteran professional in the aquarium trade. Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the first meeting of the Southern Illinois Aquarists Association. For more information, contact James Garvey at 618/536-7761. Whether you scrub down tanks for a living like Mr. Yauillo in the image above, or you have a young coral propagation business, tonight’s meeting of the Aquarists Association should be a goldmine of knowledge, resources and networking.