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Greater Seattle Aquarium Society

Conservation Award Program

The Greater Seattle Aquarium Society’s Conservation Award Program (CAP) encourages aquarists to take part in the conservation of aquatic creatures. From the popular pea pufferfish (Carinotetraodon travancoricus, vulnerable) and spotted nerite snail (Neritina natalensis, near threatened) to the rarely seen golden skiffia (Skiffia francesae, extinct in the wild) and soda cichlid (Alcolapia alcalicus, endangered), even a single five gallon aquarium can help keep our endangered species from going extinct both in the hobby and in the wild.

Endangered species come in all shapes, sizes, and care requirements, so even the newest hobbyist can take part. Unfortunately, all new animals are regularly becoming imperilled in their native habitats, so whether you already have a species or are considering acquiring a new one make sure to check their status on the IUCN’s red-list regularly to see if the species you keep apply.

For questions about the GSAS CAP, or to locate an at-risk species please contact your CAP Support Team through e-mail or at one of our monthly meetings.

The always-popular Melanotaenia bosemani are on the list!
Characodon lateralis


The purpose of the Conservation Award Program is to ensure the continuing survival of imperiled species in the aquarium hobby through the continued captive breeding and sharing of the species in our care.

The Conservation Award Program has several major objectives:

  1. to bring awareness to the critical situation of fish in nature, while educating the public and stressing the importance of our roles as responsible aquarists;
  2. to recognize, encourage, and offer support to hobbyists who maintain species at risk;
  3. to share fish as well as data and experiences through notes and manuscripts so that others may learn to maintain those identical and similar species; and
  4. to preserve species at risk for future generations.
Pseudotropheus saulosi
Phallichthys quadripunctatus the 4-spot Livebearer


Participation is easy. Just go to submission portal here and fill out the form. A photograph of the species in your care is required for submission - you can upload a photo of the species into the form for submission. The photo should be a clear, focused close-up shot and is for identification purposes.

CAP species qualification can be determined one of two ways:

  1. Visit the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species and type the scientific name (genus and species name; ex Betta splendens) of your species into the search bar. If you only know the common name (ex “rainbow trout”), searching the common name on fishbase is a good way to find the scientific name of your species. Remember, common names under IUCN are often not the same as common names in the aquarium hobby, so make sure you’re using the scientific name! Qualifying species will have one of the following Red List categories:
    1. Near Threatened (NT)
    2. Vulnerable (VU)
    3. Critically Endangered (CR)
    4. Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  2. If you cannot find your species catalogued in the IUCN’s Red List, send an e-mail to and we will try to assist. Species that have not been included in the Red List are still applicable for submission to CAP. Least Concern (LC) species are not applicable for submission to CAP.

CAP also provides a great Species Journal which allows you to record and keep detailed information about the species in your care. This Species Journal is completely optional and does not have to be submitted for acceptance into CAP. This is a holdover from the days when GSAS was a CARES program branch, so is a CARES document.


  1. Participants must be GSAS members in good standing.
  2. All information on the Species Registration Form must be complete. If you are missing information please contact the CAP Support Team.
  3. A clear photo of your Species must be submitted for identification.
  4. You must submit a new form for each species you would like to register.
  5. Each year you will be contacted by the CAP Support Team to see if you are still keeping your CAP Registered Species. It’s ok if you’re no longer working with that species.
  6. The GSAS CAP now has a point system, similar to BAP:
    Activity Points Repeatable? Annual Max Points Points earned per species Notes
    Keeping CAP species 5 No 5 Yes Members are encouraged to 1) keep CAP species and 2) keep them for an indefinite period of time.
    Yearly breeding of CAP species 10 (15 EW) Once yearly 10 (15 EW) Yes Given the conservation status of a CAP species, successful breeding of a CAP species should be rewarded. (fry must survive longer than 30 days)
    Sharing CAP species with GSAS members or GSAS auction donation 5 for spawn group Yes 15 Yes Keeping true to the CAP spirit, sharing with other members and/or donating to GSAS auctions is highly encouraged. A minimum or one male/female pair is required, but larger groups are encouraged. Maximum of 15 points per year, per species.
    CAP species knowledge sharing (either GSAS live meeting presentation, or GSAS Newsletter article contribution) 10 Yes No max N/A Members are encouraged to share knowledge about CAP species through research or personal experience. CAP articles or presentations are not limited to species the member is in possession of, and can also cover a larger subject to species/habitat conservation.
    ...and awards given at appropriate tiers:
    Roe Tier25 minimum points, have a species in the program
    Embryo Tier50 minimum points, keep a listed species (not data-deficient, not non-listed)
    Wiggler Tier100 minimum points, breed at least one species in care
    Fry Tier200 minimum points, sell or share a group of six of a species at a meeting
    Juvie Tier400 minimum points, keep an extinct in the wild species
    Spawner Tier600 minimum points, submit an article to the newsletter on a listed species (not data-deficient)
  7. Each year the GSAS CAP Support Team will determine a CAP Member of the Year. This person is the one who has best exemplified the spirit of the CAP program. Their name will be submitted to CAP as the GSAS Member of the Year and receive recognition from the club for their outstanding involvement.
    GSAS minimum criteria for this award include:
    1. At least one successfully registered CAP Species.
    2. Sharing of CAP Species with GSAS Members or GSAS Auction Donation
    3. CAP Species Knowledge Sharing (Either GSAS Meeting Presentation, or GSAS Newsletter Article Contribution).