A Short History of the Catfish Study Group

The CSG has come a long way since the first specialist catfish group was formed over 40 years ago.

The Catfish Association of Great Britain (CAGB) was started in 1973 with a handful of members with a shared passion for Siluriformes. The association was committed to spreading information about catfish and produced its first information book in 1975. Subsequent volumes of this publication formed one of the most comprehensive and informative collections of catfish related subject matter to the ever increasing aquarist movement of the 1970's and 80's. The group had Northern and Southern branches and by 1983 the association had over 500 members across the UK and abroad.

The Northern Area Catfish Group (NACG) was established in 1979 and established itself in probably the most active fish keeping region of the UK in Lancashire, NW England. It prospered for 20 years. Whilst the CAGB continued its momentum with regular magazine publications, bi-monthly meetings in London, annual open shows and an annual convention, the Northern branch ran its own activities in parallel.

After the CAGB was disbanded in 1993, the NACG remained as the only catfish specialist group in the UK. It picked up where the CAGB left off and started producing quarterly newsletters. This description does not do these publications justice and although they were hand photocopied by the editor Ann Blundell, they comprised an invaluable source of catfish information, including new descriptions and discoveries. Alongside the newsletters which ran for almost 10 years, the group produced regular information sheets with original line drawings by Ian Fuller.

The NACB also took on the hosting of National catfish conventions, hosted in Wigan, Lancashire, the first taking place in 1989. The conventions brought International catfish experts to Lancashire and grew from one day meetings to weekend-long events. In 2000 it was decided to change its name to the Catfish Study Group (with the "UK" tag to avoid confusion with other overseas groups), adopting the vision of the CAGB to further the study of catfish. The club went from strength to strength consolidating its newsletters into the popular "Catchat" magazine and cementing a regular itinerary of diary dates with auctions, the Open Show, guest speakers and of course the convention.

As interest in the group grew beyond the shores of the UK, the club went global, dropping the UK tag and securing itself as an international organisation. The CSG Convention is now one of the most highly regarded aquatic events in the world with speakers queuing up to be involved. The table at the end of this short history lists the speakers over the last 20 years and serves to indicate how the Convention has grown to a three day event. The magazine has further evolved into the CSG Journal, a professionally delivered publication attracting original articles from some of the most highly regarded aquarists and ichthyologists in the world. We have moved into the digital world with a useful website resource and lively social media blog site, whilst making membership free-to-all. Membership has quadrupled in the last 12 months, attracting sponsorship for our events and we have a dedicated committee with members from across the world continuing with the development of the organisation and the vision to further the study of catfish.

If you want to be a part of the CSG, subscribe to our journal, better still book your tickets for the next Convention or come along to our regular meetings!

YearConvention Speaker(s)
1995Carl Ferraris
1996Darrel Siebert
1997Michael Hardman
1998Dr David Sands
1999David Allinson, Gina Sandford
2000Ian Fuller, Harro Heironimus
2001Dr Isaac Isbruecker, Chris Ralph
2002Oliver Lucanus, Robin Warn
2003Hans-Georg Evers, Ingo Seidel
2004Dr Jonathon Armbruster, Dr Peter Burgess
2005Shane Linder, Julian Dignall
2006Lee Finley, Dr Stanley Weitzman, Ingo Seidel, Dr Stefan Hetz, Hans Georg Evers
2007Dr Marcelo Britto, Dr David Price, David Armitage, Chris Ralph, Ian Fuller
2008Brian Walsh, Rustam Lalkaka, Dr Michael Hardman, Mark Breeze, Dr Martin Taylor, Dinyar Lalkaka
2009Danny Blundell, Dr Mark Sabaj, Kamphol Udomritthiruj, Ray Lucas, Dave Macallister, Hans-Georg Evers
2010Adrian Taylor, Ingo Seidel, Claus Christiansen, Dr Peter Burgess, Dr Michael Hardman, Markos Alexandrou
2011Bob Barnes, Dave Hulse, Dr Michael Goulding, Dr Claudio Oliveira, Dr Devon Graham, Hans–Georg Evers, Dr Ralph Britz
2012Mark Walters, Ingo Seidel, Mary Bailey, Eric Bodrock, Birger Kamprath, Regina Spotti
2013Julian Dignall, Ingo Seidel, Dr Mark Sabaj, Neil Woodward, Dr Ralph Britz, Dr Martin Taylor
2014Allan James, Haakon Haagensen, Mark Duffill, Brian Perkins, Dr Peter Burgess, Barbie Fiorentino, Hans-Georg Evers
2015Steve Grant, Dr Leandro Sousa, Dr Nathan Lujan, Ian Fuller, Brian Walsh, Alex Carslaw, Ingo Seidel
2016Dr Roberto Reiss, Daniel Konn-Vetterlein, Eric Bodrock, Regina Spotti, Benny Hubel Hansen
2017Dr Melanie Stiassny, Luiz Tencatt, Peter Petersen, Hans-Georg Evers
2018Dr John Lundberg, Raphael Covain, Rupert Collins, Norman Behr, Allan James, Jamie Horne, Steven Grant and Richard Smith
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