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World Aquatic Animal Day April 3

April 02, 2020

The virtual event, World Aquatic Animal Day, Friday, April 3, 2020, is designed to raise global awareness for aquatic animals as an often overlooked species. An annual event, World Aquatic Animal Day is a project of the Aquatic Animal Law Initiative and the Animal Law Clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School. This year (2020) the event focus is on aquaculture. Aquaculture refers to agriculture (whether plant or animal-based) in marine and freshwater environments.

Though World Aquatic Animal Day has been a year in the making, with many students putting in hours of work designing it, the organizers were concerned about launching it during the current pandemic. “Considering what is happening in the world we considered changing the debut,” stated Animal Law Clinic Director, Kathy Hessler. “However, we reached out to folks in the community and found that there are many who are looking for other things to think about and do, so we decided to move forward with a virtual event.”

Virtual events available to the public include recorded presentations and written resources available on the Animal Law clinic’s website. The Facebook Event page has content as well. All these resources are designed to help people learn more about aquatic animals.

Aquatic animals play a critical role in our societies and ecosystems. They include not only fish but also a myriad of other animals that live in water for most of their life: amphibians, marine mammals, crustaceans, reptiles, mollusks, aquatic birds, aquatic insects and even animals such as starfish and corals. Despite their importance, aquatic animals are widely used and abused around the world and they face a multitude of different threats. The aim of World Aquatic Animal Day is to raise awareness of aquatic animals through law, policy, education, advocacy and good stewardship of the earth.

Many students, supervised by Amy Wilson (LLM’18) and Professor Kathy Hessler, were involved in making this day happen and working quickly to transition to a virtual launch. Amy Wilson, current Aquatic Animal Law Initiative Fellow and former Animal Law LLM student, came up with the idea for this day. Current Animal Law Clinic students Caitlin Skurky (’21), Zihao Yu (LLM ’22), Diego F. Plaza (LLM ’22), Lyudmila Shegay (LLM ’22), Bianka Atlas (LLM ’22), Theresa Trillo (’21), and current Research Assistant, Alyssa Sander (’20) were also involved. Additionally, former clinic students who contributed include Hannah Fields (’18), Rodah Ogoma (’18) and Winnie Onkoba (’19), and Rebecca Jenkins (’16), the former Aquatic Animal Law Initiative Fellow.

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