Chris Buerner Christopher Buerner has been a marine aquarist since his early teens in the 80’s… he is also the owner and president of Quality Marine, one of the largest and longest established marine ornamental wholesale distributors worldwide.
Quality Marine is known in the industry as a pioneer, and along with introducing many technologies to the US market is respected internationally by maintaining the highest standards for supply sourcing, animal care and business integrity and ethics. Quality Marine provides marine organisms to public aquariums, educational institutions, breeding facilities and retail stores worldwide.
Chris served on standards-setting panels and ultimately on the board of the directors of the Marine Aquarium Council, a group whose mission was to “conserve marine ecosystems through the promotion of a responsible aquarium trade” by developing a certification program for overseas tropical fish collectors, collection areas, and exporters. While MAC as an organization is no longer active, the standards it created persist and are still adhered to by many leading industry institutions. Various organizations continue to model their own standards on those best practices established by the Marine Aquarium Council.
In recent years Chris has served on various industry and trade standards committees, has presented conservation and certification programs to foreign resource management authorities, and has been a routine industry panelist. Notably, Chris spearheaded the development of and still co-chairs the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s (PIJAC) Aquatics committee. This group was Pijac’s first pet-sector-specific working group that fundraised specifically for aquatics issues and recruited subject matter experts from the industry and worked with members of the scientific community to address the growing challenges and concerns facing the aquatics industry. The surging issues of anti-trade activism, various ESA listing proposals, and invasive species issues have been the primary focus in recent years.
As an operator Chris continues to support sustainable harvest of ornamental reef animal species, poverty alleviation in fishing communities, and various fish and coral aquaculture efforts. Beyond the support of responsible commercial operations, Quality Marine’s own “Reefhab” initiative has generously supported various ocean conservation efforts for many years. Among those initiatives is the Sea World Foundation’s Rising Tide Initiative, on whose board Chris currently serves.
As an ethos for Quality Marine, and within the broader industry, Chris promotes the need for greater trade responsibility, science-based resource management, and sensible industry regulation.