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In memory of Dr Alex Ploeg

July 23, 2014

We have received the terrible news that Dr Alex Ploeg (Maarssen, NL), together with his wife Edith and their son Robert, died in the plane crash in Ukraine on Thursday, 17 July. They were on their way, together with a friend of the family, to a well-deserved vacation in South East Asia.

Alex was a key person in the ornamental fish and pet trade world, with positions as Secretary General in Ornamental Fish International (OFI), Secretary General in the European Pet Organization (EPO), and consultant to the Dutch national trade association Dibevo.

A biologist by training, with a doctorate in fish taxonomy, Alex was also an aquarist and animal lover by heart, and a professionally experienced man from working in several companies in the pet industry over the years. The last ten years he devoted full time to working for and together with pet trade associations, to secure and improve the status and quality of animal hobbies and -trade worldwide.

Alex was known to be a devoted, honest and friendly person, who could enter any discussion and debate with professionalism and charm. He was always well informed and organized prior to meetings. His openness and willingness to collaborate on and discuss issues was highly appreciated by stakeholders both within and outside of the industry.

Alex’s vast amount of contacts ranged from ministers and top civil servants in Brussels, The Hague, Brazil, India, Singapore and elsewhere, to worldwide trade associations and other NGOs. Still he was equally at home between workers on the floor, traders, breeders and collectors, and was popular and respected all over the industry. When Alex spoke, everyone in our industry listened. His ability to express complex issues simple and logically made him a much-asked-for speaker at international conferences.

Alex will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him. The void he leaves in the ornamental fish and pet industries will be difficult to fill.

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