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Thread: where will the koi hobby be in 10 years?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    where will the koi hobby be in 10 years?

    Our hobby has been driven by vision and amateur organizational goals over the past 40 years. And in 2014 one of our ZNA chapters will celebrate its 40th! what an accomplishment! Most of those visionaries, however, are not with us any more. With the internet 'koi light' focus, the balkanization of the USA amateur scene, and commercialism in general all nipping away at the message/ source for pure koi information, where do you see our hobby in 10 years? Curious minds want to know! JR

  2. #2
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    My vision is clouded at the time. only because of what i see the economy doing to clubs and the hobby. As I watch things here in the NW I see
    shows being dropped because of funding. No one wants to go in "the hole" and vendors are also hesitant to expend resources with no real sense of reward.

    still, I can't help but to be optimistic. Here in the NW, A member club of the association has come forward to save the PNKCA convention this year. Members of the NIKK club, will send reps to PNKCA rep's meeting, with a fabulous proposal to reinvigorate support of shows with a unique team approach.

    Famous cartoonist Al Capp, had a strip that featured Smoos. In one series one of the leaders says, "we have met the enemy and the enemy is us". Yes, there is some truth in that but then the opposite is also true. We can be our own best resource. I see things in ten years as continuing to grow a hobby that brings enjoyment and a sense of peace to an anxious world. But it will only be that way if everyone does their part!
    Dick Benbow

  3. #3
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    The times they are a changin'.

    No longer do Koi pond hobbyist HAVE to rely on Koi clubs and Koi magazines for their source of information.

    The internet has replaced clubs, magazines, and books for many Koi hobbyists. The internet has become a source for pond supplies and Koi food.

    Koi shows depend on a Koi club membership that is interested in Koi competiton and putting on an exhibit "to teach members (and others) what makes a Koi a good, better, and best specimen."

  4. #4
    Jumbo
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    The energy for our Koi hobby in the US peaked at around 2001,... and has been in a slow spiraling decline over the past 10 years,... for a variety of reasons,... and the recession from there has dealt it a huge blow. It's really hard to say where we'll be in 10 years. The fact that it is declining fast and not growing is a huge issue. This is why we (Koi keeping) really have to look in new directions,... new ways of promoting and cross-promoting,... new ways to host our Koi shows,... and new energy in dealing with threats such as disease issues, threatening laws and restrictions, insurance run-arounds,... and also restructured clubs and spiced up club events.

    A good question,...

    Brady

  5. #5
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    Curious minds want to know! JR[/QUOTE]

    It is mostly the economy as people simply can not afford to put in a koi pond and the ones that can afford it would prefer a girlfriend on the side. My time is limited with koi due to health issues and age.Each time a house is sold the koi pond is usually filled in.
    Breeders in Japan sell nearly all their fish to Asia and US breeders even if they breed a higher grade koi would not have a market for them. In fact the US bred higher quality koi are underpriced.
    So the future does not look good unless we can get the people who can afford koi in the hobby. May be advetise in high end publications eg Buy your husband koi fish and he will forget girl friends
    Regards
    Eugene

  6. #6
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    It's the age olde perspective of how the cup is viewed. I see it as half full with more room to keep filling.
    I'm exciting about the challenges of the future and can see ZNA playing a positive place in continuing to encourage and unite the effort here in the US of A!

  7. #7
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    Funny you say that Eugene. I moved about 6yrs ago, but live in the same town. The new owners were so thrilled about the pond. I drove by a year later....filled in and now a simple garden. I guess they realized it is tougher than it looks. I think the hobby is near maximum saturation as far as the number of people are concerned. Millions more are not suddenly going to flood the hobby. I think the number who are interested in high end koi and competitions will always be relatively small. I always compare our koi hobby to the reef hobby. The reef hobby has seen great strides in making it easier and cheaper to keep corals. Plus, the price of the actual animals have dropped dramatically....as I can find tank raised coral frags everywhere for $20 and under. The koi hobby does not offer this. If I look in a magazine and see a great showa...it is big money to find a similar one for my own pond. But, I see a coral in a magazine...I can find a similar one that is often well priced. The high prices keep away new people....but, I do not think those prices will ever drop significantly. I used to blame it on the shipping from Japan...but, even the better Domestic breeders charge high prices for their koi. Breeding and raising koi is an expensive endevor for the breeder. So, I think it is what it is in this country....and may not change too much in the next 10yrs. I do not think it will much better in Japan either. The number of breeders now is much less than in the past. I have also read that the younger generations are not living such a wet hobby lifestyle. But, there will always be those who carry the torch. So, there will still be plenty to enjoy.


    If your desire to succeed is greater than your desire to fail, then you will succeed.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
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    Que sera sera. What ever will be will be. In 10-years many of the elder statesmen who have served the hobby so unselfishly will be relegated to the rocking chair. Who's going to fill their shoes?

  9. #9
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzyfish View Post
    Que sera sera. What ever will be will be. In 10-years many of the elder statesmen who have served the hobby so unselfishly will be relegated to the rocking chair. Who's going to fill their shoes?
    I do think you all have some up with the major challenges, but I'll add another--- to have a pond you need a garden or backyard. The cost of homes, the required downpayment etc is really too much for the younger couple to carry ( the recent college grad has an unemployment rate of 11%). In addition, the newest generation is locked into technology and electronic games. A very good friend of mine, owned scuba diving shops in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s. He had a thriving business, and then a recession, 9/11 ( killed travel to red sea and then with carry on restrictions and the like, killed traveling with gear). But he insists, with all those real challenges, the beginning can be detected in how much difference there is in the generations-- he talks about how, as a kid he watched Sea Hunt with loyd Bridges and how much he was inspired to ' be a frog man' in other words:
    Imagination leading to deep interest in a new and exotic past time.

    Younger generations do seem to have plenty of creativity. But an imagination that runs in a different direction than previous generations.

    I have to say, on some days, I'm very pessimistic about the future and the 'realness' of our hobby. As it turns out, koi keeping is a small and an expensive hobby. It above this, a 'delicate' hobby in which just changing the core slightly will end what once was. As we balkanize the already weaker organizations and attempt to transplant and replace human activity with internet contacts, we strengthen interet friendships and cliques for sure. But we take the focus off the koi and its delicate culture.
    The 'last stand' will be made around the koi show. And once that commercializes to the level of Europe, it's done. Don't get me wrong, individuals will still keep koi, the rich will still by the upper 1% of koi production, the idea of koi will be lost.
    The good news is we should be able to enjoy the hobby as we know it for 5-10 more years. Then it will be a mismash of concepts mostly driven by the uninitiated.

    Eugene brings up an important point-- not only is koi expensive, it is physically demanding.

    So I ask this question--- IF we were looking to grow this hobby where would we find new recruits? And like any good marketing plan-- WHO would be are target member? what would their profile be? JR

  10. #10
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    The good news is we should be able to enjoy the hobby as we know it for 5-10 more years. Then it will be a mismash of concepts mostly driven by the uninitiated.
    Wow, JR. What a sad view into the koi culture this is. I think that the culture will continue, perhaps in a slightly different form. Look on the brighter side. If it's mostly driven by the uninitiated, that just means we have mostly new people who need help and education.

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