If you come to a meeting, you might wonder “Who are these people?” Well, we might at one time have been that child collecting seaweed at the beach (most of us still are) or maybe that person carrying two five-gallon buckets of salt water to the car with the rusted trunk. Most of us have more PVC than Home Depot, and all of our Tupperware has at one time contained some sort of marine organism. We often have visions of turning that spare room into an aquarium so large we would need to don our scuba gear to clean it.
Although these are only a few of a marine hobbyist’s characteristics, we all have much more serious goals in common: the conservation, preservation, and propagation of our marine environment is the focus of our interests. The education of ourselves and others is what FMAS is about. — Alan Bickford, FMAS President 1994
The Florida Marine Aquarium Society’s mission is to bring together the expertise and experience of its members, with a purpose to share this information with others, The Society strives to safeguard the quality of life for marine organisms maintained in aquaria and promote an awareness of natural marine ecosystems in order to protect and share them with future generations.
The Florida Marine Aquarium Society (FMAS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1955 and devoted to education, conservation, and increasing public awareness of the vast resources and delicate nature of the ocean realm through the keeping of marine aquariums and the cultivation of marine animals. FMAS began as a small group of hobbyists in love with saltwater fish and it is now the oldest and currently one of the largest Marine Aquarium Societies in existence. Through the years, FMAS has developed into an organization with an elected Board of Directors and a membership numbering well over 300.
A little trivia on club history:
Founded 1955 by Robert Straughan. The very first meeting was held on August 1 and marked a milestone in Aquarium Societies. It was noted at the time in Aquarium Magazine by a Mr. William T. Innes as being the nation’s first Marine Aquarium Society. This first meeting was held at Mr. Straughan’s home and was attended by 4 people. Sometime during that first year, new members expressed a desire to show their tanks, and the response was tremendous. The outcome? “The First Annual Show of the Greater Florida Marine Aquarium Society”. First show book dated October 7, 1956.
The first FMAS newsletter was published in June, 1957 and was titled “Under the Surface”.
Our general meetings are open to the public and are held at 7:15PM on the fourth Tuesday of every month. General meetings consist of an education portion plus a guest speaker on marine-related topics such as: conservation, safety, collecting fish, breeding, etc.
Who are our members? People like you. We come from all walks of life, all ages, shapes, and sizes. We are united by a common interest in and love of marine life and marine aquariums.
If you are interested in learning more, come to a general meeting. Our membership size has no limits and no pre-qualifications. We look forward to meeting you!