European Union of Aquarium Curators

Taxon Advisory Groups

Executive Summary

The Fish and Aquatic Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group(FAITAG) is an approved EAZA EEP Programme since 1999.  In August 2019 the FAITAG requested permission from the EAZA EEP Committee to officially split into five separate TAGs which represented each of the focus areas within the FAITAG. Following EAZA EEP Committee approval the FAITAG ceased to exist and five separate Taxon Advisory Groups were created:

1. Elasmobranchs
2. Freshwater Teleost
3. Marine Teleost
4. Jellyfish
5. Coral

In the past few years before the split of the FAITAG each of these was a distinct sub – TAG within the FAITAG with a very different approach and unique needs that reflected their taxa.

Studbook (ESB) Reports

Monitoring (MON) Programmes

To read the old FAITAG Manual and the FAITAG reports from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014 please click here.

Elasmobranchs Taxon Advisory Group

The Elasmobranch TAG is chaired by Max Janse (Royal Burgers’ Zoo).  The goal of the TAG is to create a new platform for collaborative work between institutions that keep elasmobranchs by improving communication, species population management and advance husbandry and skill for rays and shark management in European zoos and aquariums. The management (breeding) programmes are based on individual animals identified and are set in a more traditional European Studbook (ESB) approach.

ESB managed under this TAG are:

1. Carcharhinus melanopterus (Blacktip reef shark)
2. Carcharhinus plumbeus (Sandbar shark)
3. Etobatus ocellatus (Spotted eagle ray) 
4. Heterodontus francisci (Horned shark)
5. Pristis zijsron and Pristis microdon (Sawfish)
6. Neotrygon kuhlii (Blue spotted maskray)
7. Stegostoma fasciatum (Zebra shark)
8. Taeniura lymma (Blue spotted stingray)

Studbook reports are available here.

There are many more monitoring programmes which have reports available here.

References and more information

Freshwater Teleost Taxon Advisory Group

The Freshwater Teleost TAG is chaired by Brian Zimmerman (Bristol Zoological Society)  The goal of the TAG is to create a platform for collaborative work between institutions that keep freshwater teleost by improving communication and advance husbandry and skills for freshwater species management in zoos and aquariums. The TAG is prioritizing species in urgent need of conservation attention.

The EAZA Freshwater Teleost Regional Collection Plan (2020) has been published and can be found here.

The Freshwater Teleost TAG is looking for EEP Coordinators (EAZA Ex situ Programme) to run the proposed programmes. You can find the full list here and if this is something you are interested in please get in touch with Brian Zimmerman (bzimmerman@bzsociety.org.uk)

References and more information

Marine Teleost Taxon Advisory Group

The Marine Teleost TAG is chaired by Attila Varga (Sosto Zoo). The goal of the TAG is to develop breeding programmes for marine fishes in the European zoo and aquarium community. Focusing on research of marine species will contribute to the development of programmes for breeding marine teleost species in human care. A main goal will be to improve the management of marine fish species, developing breeding protocols and communicate the joint - collaboration between European and other international partners. There is a specific focus of this TAG to focus on sustainable breeding of marine teleost species to reduce the dependency of wild caught individuals.

The expending goals of the TAG are: 

1. regularly monitoring of marine teleost species in human care (through questionaires and ZIMS or other record keeping systems) 

2. regularly evaluating of the gained data to modify the Regional Collection Plan (RCP) to meet the requirements of a changing world

3. Setting up breeding programmes for popular species. There a few hundred thousand species under the marine teleost TAG which makes it chalenging to keep genetically healthy populations of these in the available aquariums. Due to this the popular species breeding programmes should focus on decresing the pressure on - and supporting the use of sustainable use of wild populations. This goal needs further development with researchers and other experts. 

4. Setting up breeding programmes for species under risk. The first TAG meeting focussed on the evaluating of fish families according to the directives of the RCP. Future TAG meetings will focus on setting up breeding programmes (EEPs, ESBs or Monitoring programmes). The difficulty with marine teleost species that they do not breed easily in human care. Therefore, the overal focus of the programmes should be as follows. Firstly, establishing a research groups on the breeding of chosen species and taxonomic groups. Secondly, to discuss the possibilities of collaborative cooperation with other regional marine teleost TAGs,  ex situ and in situ researchers and other ornamental fish experts. For managing different groups subgroups within the TAGs will be established. 

5.Setting up shared environmental education programmes about marine teleost species. The TAG should encourage the establishing of these programmeswith ambassadors species such as popular species (Nemo) clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) and facinating species such as seahorses (Syngnathidae), humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) and cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus). This shared public education programme can also support standardizing the message from aquariums about the efforts aquariums undertake on raising public awareness about exploitation, polution and degrading of coral reefs and about the scientific work undertaken with these ambassador species. The TAG welcomes experts on these subjects to apply for membership. The TAG will work closely with the EAZA Which Fish? campaign.

There is a call for members which can be found here.

Studbook reports are available here.

There are many more monitoring programmes which have reports available here

The Marine Teleost TAG has a survey out which you can find here. Please fill it in and send it to Attila Varga (curator.ocenarium@sostozoo.hu)

References and more information

Jellyfish Taxon Advisory Group

The Jellyfish TAG is chaired by Hugo Batista (Oceanario de Lisboa). Jellyfish are a popular group of animals used in exhibits and their inclusion in collections is rapidly growing. In recent years there have been enormous strides made in husbandry, breeding, transport and exhibit design for the benefit of keeping jellyfish. Therefore, the main goal of the TAG would be to focus on the collation and the dissemination of the information regarding husbandry, culture and exhibit/life support system designs for jellyfish. There is also the push to create an inventory of species of jellyfish kept in aquariums. The TAG will also focus on jellyfish breeding programmes based on perfecting propagation methods.

Jellyfish database:

The Jellyfish TAG has a Jellyfish Database available. The purpose of this database is to share best practise and raising of jellyfish. The information in the database is supplied by various institutions that hold jellyfish species. The database is administratored by Hugo Batista (TAG Chair) and sponsored by EUAC.  For the password please get in touch. 

References and more information

Coral Taxon Advisory Group

The Coral TAG is chaired by Guide Westhoff (Tierpark Hagenbeck). The goal of the TAG is to create a new platform for collaborative work between institutions that keep corals by improving communication and advance husbandry and skills for coral management in zoos and aquariums. The TAG will focus on identifying and building taxonomic banks of genotypes. There is a strong conservation imperative due to the situation with many coral species and a growing acknowledgement that aquariums can play a crucial role in preserving coral genotypes that are quickly lost due to various environmental issues and diseases.

References and more information

References and more information