Josiah Pit and Australia’s Aquarium Industries
The aquarium industry is truly international. Although many fish come from farms and collection points in Florida and other parts of the US, numerous species also arrive from points around the globe. Australia has its own thriving aquarium industry and hobby, and is home to some of the most beautiful and prized freshwater and marine aquarium fish in the world, including the popular rainbowfishes and the stunning leafy seadragons.
My guest today is Josiah Pit, Operations and Supply Chain Manager for Aquarium Industries, the major aquarium livestock source for Australia. Join us, as we learn more about ornamental fish in the land Down Under!
Josiah Pit has been passionate about the ocean ever since his childhood, when he spent school holidays fishing with his uncle, a commercial fisherman. He also collected an array of critters bringing them home to an ‘aquarium’ overnight or over the weekend before returning them to the wild. His passion for the ocean continued and he completed his B.Sc. degree in Marine Biology and Aquaculture at James Cook University in North Queensland. During college, he bred clownfish and seahorses which he sold to retail shops and friends to fund his studies. After graduation, Josiah moved to Fiji to be the resident marine biologist for Jean Michel Cousteau. He later assisted on a variety of research projects related to production and nutrition of fishes, mollusks and crustaceans where he worked on United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research projects in Indonesia, Kiribati, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji, concentrating on pearl oysters as well as aquarium species (shrimp, fish and clams). In 2002, Josiah completed his PhD studying pearl oysters, and helped develop culture methods for a species that had not been cultured previously in Australia.
Josiah joined Aquarium Industries in 2006 as a workplace trainer before becoming employed by the company to ensure all Quarantine regulations were in place before becoming the Purchasing Manager for all locally and overseas sourced fish. In 2007 he became Operations and Supply Chain Manager, leading a team of 40 people and overseeing purchasing, general facility operations, fish care and health operations, incoming/outgoing freight, and inventory control.
In addition to lecturing at universities and TAFEs (vocational colleges) for undergraduate students, Josiah is an industry consultant, providing expertise on hatchery design and turnkey operations for ornamentals and pearls/clams, biosecurity, and a variety of other aquaculture related areas. Over the years he has published in scientific journals and industry magazines, and presented at local and international seminars and trade shows.