The news spread quickly this morning as C-Quest announced that it will be moving from it’s longstanding location in Puerto Rico to the Addison’s home town of Wheatland, Wyoming, roughly 1 hour north of Cheyenne. C-Quest is arguably the world’s longest running marine ornamental fish hatchery, with folks such as Edgar Diaz (Addy Zone), Todd Gardner (Atlantis Marine World), Jaqueine Baez, Marc Cosme, Joyce Wilkerson (author of Clownfishes) and many others being alums of Bill Addison’s hatchery staff. C-Quest’s last order date before the move is slated to be August 30th, with the last shipments leaving Puerto Rico on September 2nd, 2010.
Publicly, this move was explained in their email to customers as a reaction to increasing security issues in Puerto Rico. I’d like to offer that this also is a good move from a standpoint of bio-security. Any tropical fish hatchery operating in a tropical environment runs the risk of exotic introductions. No risk introducing clownfish as an invasive species in Wyoming. This move also affords the Addison family a return to their home as well. Hey, no hurricanes in Wyoming either!
Knowing how much of a crazy effort it was to move a half dozen aquariums from Chicago, IL to Duluth, MN, I do not envy the task that CQuest has laid out before them. CQuest’s email to customers acknowledges that operations are being temporarily suspended, and inventories will likely not ramp back up until sometime in 2011.
Speaking with Katy Addison this morning, I’m pleased to let you know that I have loads of confidence, and Katy sounded excited about this new project. Thankfully, this does not sound like one of those times where a business says they’re going away temporarily and then never comes back. Katy relayed that CQuest’s new building is already in place, with a good portion of the tanks there and more due arriving soon. They are anticipating that saltwater will be flowing next week in Wyoming. They’ll be trying to beat the snow to get their selected broodstock up and running in Wyoming. Katy hinted that we may see some broodstock out there as they pick through their stockpiles to figure out which fish come to Wyoming. From the sounds of it, CQuest’s facility in Puerto Rico is being offered for sale as a working hatchery and may be maintained as such for the time being, but CQuest production is being shifted to Wyoming.
To plan for this downtime, wholesale customers looking for Wyoming White Ocellaris (pictured above) and Black Onyx Perculas (and any of the other fine fish CQuest produces) need to STOCK UP now! We all wish the Addisons and staff smooth sailing during this transition and hope to see CQuest back in full operation soon as possible.