Hi everyone, I want to alert you to a work-in-progress, but first let me address the many newcomers to TONMO.com! The recent Colossal Squid discoveries and news have made TONMO.com a highly trafficked site -- well, moreso than before. So, I'd like to introduce myself to all the new visitors and to people who don't know me: I am the Webmaster of TONMO.com, but I am not a cephalopod expert. Everything I know I've learned from all the people who post on TONMO.com, I've read a couple of books, and I've done some amount of Web surfing. I've seen a few at aquariums, much to my delight, but I've never touched one or studied a specimen. I am not a marine biologist by any stretch, and I've never owned a fish tank (saltwater or fresh). I simply think octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus (and their fossilized ancestors) are extremely interesting (to put it mildly). That is why I have a team of volunteer staff to help out! By far, Dr. Steve O'Shea is the most renown member of our staff (with no offense to any of our other staff members!) Dr. O'Shea is on a very short list of world cephalopod experts. When a giant or colossal squid is caught or recovered, he is among the first people contacted, and it would seem that more often than not, he performs the autopsy. You've probably seen him on the Discovery Channel, and have read his quotes whenever the newswires pick up a story on giant or colossal squid. Giant cephalopods aside, TONMO.com is very much about cephalopod care. We have experts in the field of ceph care, who have deep knowledge on what it takes to safely and ethically care for an octopus. That is the focus of this post. Based on what I've learned from our staff and other members of our community, it is my belief that ceph care ethics can broken down into a few categories. The work in progress that I mention above is the effort being pulled together by TONMO.com staff to identify the right answers and parameters for keeping cephalopods. These are the areas under consideration: 1) Species: Which species are appropriate for being kept in the home for qualified tank owners? 2) Acquisition / wild-caught: how is the ceph retreived from its natural habitat? Is there a supported / preferred wild-caught method? Which methods (e.g., cyanide) are not supported? 3) Captive-breeding: what are the appropriate parameters for breeding cephalopods? 4) Handling: how is the ceph transported? What are the best practices? 5) Retail: how do LFS represent these animals? How can we, as a community, help improve the knowledgebase and care methodologies within the store, and at the point-of-sale (e.g., the TONMO.com flyer concept, a certification program)? If you see an LFS selling x, or promoting y, or advocating z, voice your objection / offer education. 6) In-home care: Per species, what are the proper tank specifications? A matrix is needed which identifies recommended specs per species or family. Also, what is considered proper / improper interactive behavior? e.g., "never try to make your cephalopod ink. do not tug on their arms. do not mix them with the following species:" etc.) There may be other categories to consider -- again, I am no expert, but I recognize this as an important initiative. Because this is a community and we have many experts who visit TONMO.com, I wanted to share with you our ambition to set these parameters in the most appropriate and responsible way we can imagine. As ever, the primary focus is the health and well-being of the cephalopod. Any thoughts or input is welcomed as these "statements" are defined. Thank you!