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10:28 PM   September 23, 2014
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Jim Norris, President & CEO of Oceans Reefs & Aquariums (ORA)

There is no substitute for experience. James Norris certainly knows this, as his experience in the commercial food shrimp industry gave him the experience he needed to dive into ornamental fish production.
 
For 31 years Norris managed companies involved in larval production and genetics in the food shrimp industry. The transition from food shrimp production to ornamental fish production was "almost seamless," says Norris, the president and chief executive officer of Oceans Reefs and Aquariums (ORA) located in Fort Pierce, Fla. "The problems and challenges in the two industries are very similar-it's just a difference in scale."
 
ORA, which was established 10 years ago, offers marine aquarists all over the world a selection of tank-raised reef fish, shrimp, conchs, coral and clams. 

"ORA is the largest marine ornamental hatchery in the United States," Norris says. Norris' company has a unique advantage because of its location on the campus of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, Fla.
 
"We have scientific knowledge and experience available from the HBOI staff to solve disease issues, water quality problems and formulate diets," Norris says.
 

At a Glance:

President and CEO: James Norris

Years In Business: 10

Location of Company: Fort Pierce, Fla.
 
Number of Employees: 34

Flagship Product: Amphiprion ocellaris (false clownfish)

ORA Web address:  http://www.orafarm.com/

During the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, ORA suffered damage to some of its production facilities and life-support equipment. Despite these setbacks, the company suffered only minimal losses. 

"Luckily, livestock losses were low and ORA was able to maintain sales and cash flow during those difficult times," Norris says.

Success has come to ORA because quality has always remained its focus.  "We have quality broodstock, good inventories and we provide quality customer service," Norris says.
 
ORA is committed to reducing the environmental impact of the industry on the earth's reefs while still providing new and exciting species to the hobbyist, Norris says. Norris believes today's consumers are much more aware of environmental issues, especially regarding tropical reefs. 

"Our goal is to lessen the impact on the environment through aquaculture-produced products," he says.  <HOME>

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