New directors welcomed to OATA’s board


The aquatic industry trade body has two brand new directors on its Board, following its annual general meeting held on Wednesday November 13.

Members of OATA have been voting to fill six places on the trade association’s Board of Directors with the results announced at its AGM. Four familiar faces were voted back on the Board and they have been joined by two new people who have not been on the OATA Board before.

The brand new members voted onto the Board are Ben Windeatt, from Tetra, and Kevin Rose, from Lynchford Aquatics Ltd.

The returning Board members are Robert Edgecock, from Independent Aquatic Imports Ltd, Simon Langdale, from Maidenhead Aquatics, Andrew Stagg from NT Laboratories Ltd, and Paul West, from Tropical Marine Centre.

OATA’s Board of Directors is made up of 18 people who represent the whole of the industry, from wholesalers and manufacturers to importers, pond and aquarium consultants and retailers. Before each AGM, six directors step down and nominations are invited. This year, seven names were put forward, sparking the need for a member vote.

 “We’re very pleased to welcome these new faces to the OATA Board, as well as the returning directors,” said OATA Chairman James Allison.

“We pride ourselves on the breadth of experience we have on the OATA Board, which really helps the staff team in their work representing the whole of the industry. There are some big issues facing us at the moment, from forthcoming EU legislation on Invasive Alien Species to campaigns from powerful groups whose aim is to ban trade in pets, so it’s vital to have a strong and diverse Board to support the work of the association.

“We also run a system called New Blood where members who are interested in getting involved in the Board can come to meetings over the year to see what’s involved in being an OATA director. We’re very pleased that Philip Lawton from Kidsgrove Tropicals and Water Garden Centre will be joining us in this capacity. We’re always keen to see new people within the industry get involved in our work so if there are those who’d like to find out more about our New Blood scheme then we’d encourage them to get in touch with OATA. Maybe we’ll have even more new faces next year.”

The complete OATA Board of Directors is now made up of:
James Allison, Aquapic Solutions
Kevin Barton, ALF (Aquatic Distributors) Ltd
Matthew Bubear, CASCO Europe
Pete Carey, Pets at Home
Robert Edgecock, Independent Aquatic Imports Ltd
Mark Evenden, Devotedly Discus Ltd
Jane Flaherty, JMC Aquatics Ltd
Richard Hale, Berry Ring Herpetological and Aquatics Supplies Ltd
Neil Hardy, Neil Hardy Aquatica Ltd
Simon Langdale, Maidenhead Aquatics
Ruth Low, Gordon Low Products Ltd
David Pool, FishScience
Kevin Rose, Lynchford Aquatics Ltd
Andrew Stagg, NT Laboratories Ltd
Paul West, Tropical Marine Centre
Peter Wheeler, Aquajardin Ltd
Ben Windeatt, Tetra
Mark Winter, Aqua Pacific UK Ltd

OATA (the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association) was established in 1991 and currently represents more than 700 members from across the ornamental aquatic industry from importers and wholesalers to suppliers and retailers.

Its core mission is to protect and promote the ornamental aquatic industry and to ensure its longevity by proactive and continuous lobbying and marketing activity at local, national and international levels as well as promoting education and training within the industry and among the hobbyist to encourage and support responsible pet ownership.