hobby fights back
The gradual but relentless
erosion of the organized hobby throughout the world needs to be halted and
This is the sole premise behind
the formation of IFOCAS, The
International Federation of Online Clubs and Aquatic Societies.
IFOCAS has been established
simultaneously in three continents as a pro-active pressure group catering for
the requirements of clubs worldwide. It is not only able to offer practical
support in all areas of club activity and publicity, but also assists clubs to
get out onto the worldwide web and collect the thousands of potential new
members who are newcomers to the hobby and presently only use the internet as
their means of communication.
Aquatic web services, help, and
enquiry sites on the web receive an estimated one million enquiries per annum.
There are presently less than thirty clubs worldwide with an active presence on
the web – all are thriving. (There are at least 30 clubs in the UK alone dying
through lack of new members. pers comm.).
All of the most important and
active web enquiry sites have joined IFOCAS – all feel that they have huge
traffic volumes that could be of great assistance to existing clubs. A question
asked very frequently to all is “Where
in my area can I get help and advice?”
IFOCAS is therefore in a prime position to act as the conduit in
redirecting these hundreds of potential new club members into their local clubs
IFOCAS is financed by sponsors
who are granted Affiliate Membership but no other benefits.
Policy is dictated by the
Membership is free to clubs,
societies, public aquaria and fish study and research groups .
All IFOCAS services such as help
with website construction, publicity and contact establishment are provided to
members at no charge, save the members conforming to a few basic, simple terms
of membership and placing an IFOCAS logo on their web sites.
IFOCAS has three categories of
Full Participating Membership
is open to clubs, societies and organizations and is free as long as these
bodies maintain an online web presence and supply an active email address to
which enquiries will receive a reasonably speedy response. (Potential new
members being redirected from the web are unused to slow responses which in web
terms are often indicative of an uncaring attitude).
is a halfway house for clubs that cannot, or have not yet, established an online
site and communications channel. Affiliate members will be freely given every
assistance to set up and maintain a web site and email address. IFOCAS will
provide free sites for affiliates plus any other ‘computer, material required.
Affiliate membership is by
subscription to cover postal charges where email and web communications cannot
be used. Currently (year commencing January 2001) Affiliate Membership costs:
Per annum. Affiliate Membership
charges will be refunded pro rata as soon as the Affiliate becomes a full
Affiliate Membership is also
granted to sponsors, though no other offers above apply to this grade.
is open to all aquatic suppliers and equipment manufacturers and traders who are
prepared to actively display the IFOCAS logo on their web sites and promote the
activities of other fellow members where possible. Commercial Membership is
Local stores are expected to actively promote local club activities and manufacturing members are expected to look favourably upon other smaller members requesting assistance.
We have recently also identified a need for a new membership category where highly experienced individuals in a particular area have no local club or organizational body and therefore work alone. IFOCAS will honour these individuals with Experienced Aquarist Membership status as is appropriate.
This membership category will become operative on 01/01/2001
of all categories are listed in the Membership lists, which are available online
to all members unless a particular request not to publish
has been received. Your access code to view these lists is sent with your
IFOCAS has one aim – to support
and encourage fishkeeping and the active promotion of this aim, through
assistance, communication and education.
Although individuals cannot be
elected to membership, unless as sponsors, personal enquiries will be directed
to the nearest IFOCAS member group, many of which also have no-charge or minimum
charge, membership schemes.
Our website is online in the following languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Other languages will be used as
CAN YOU THINK OF A GOOD REASON FOR NOT JOINING US?