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Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association Announces New CEO


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The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) named Dominic Whitmee as its new CEO. Current head Keith Davenport announced his retirement in March after 25 years at the helm.

Whitmee joined OATA from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), where he was senior international biodiversity policy advisor. He worked in the civil service for more than 20 years, most recently delivering Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) policy for the U.K. government. In addition to bringing more than two decades of work at national, European and international levels in highly relevant areas such as biodiversity and wildlife trade, Whitmee understands the mechanisms of government and how to influence policy in the U.K., in Brussels and at global negotiations.

“I’m very pleased to be handing over the reins to such an experienced person who undoubtedly will bring a different perspective to the challenges facing our industry,” Davenport said. “The strength of OATA lies in its members and our strong board, which brings together all aspects of the industry. Therefore, I know there is a huge amount of knowledge and experience that Dominic can tap into. I’m sure everyone will continue to give him the help and support I’ve enjoyed over the past 25 years on the issues he now will take on.”

OATA chairman Mark Evenden said: “We’re very pleased to be welcoming Dominic to OATA, and we’re sure we’ll keep him as busy as Keith has been over the past 25 years. The pet industry—and the ornamental fish industry in particular—faces challenging times over issues such as exotic pets and invasive species, so to have someone with Dominic’s knowledge and experience will be vital as OATA continues to represent all aspects of this industry.”

Whitmee starts on July 4.

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