Curious as to how to raise your stingrays but not sure you’ll get all the help you need on the Internet? Or are you too shy to venture into international online forums? There is help locally, a place where stingray keepers can fraternize with others and learn more about the creatures they keep.

“Unlike other fish, the market value of the stingray increases as it grows older,” Manolito “Manny” Bautista, president of the Stingray Club of the Philippines (SCP), explains. “It’s easy to breed, and its venomous tail has a dangerous appeal. Its gorgeous appearance plus its unpredictable behavior make it a fascinating creature to keep.

The SCP was founded in 2014 with the purpose of promoting and, “together learning—through discussion, sharing of experiences, knowledge, pictures, and videos—about this unique and magnificent fish of the Amazon river.” Manny adds, “They are increasingly being kept in aquariums and backyard ponds, and present a unique challenge to those who care for them.”

SCP vice president James Philip “Tirsok” Guevarra explains, “This club aspires to create camaraderie and connections among hobbyists.” This is the reason why the SCP holds twicea-year “eyeball” events in cooperation with the Philippine Arowana and Luo Han Society (PALHS). During these events, the SCP holds seminars for interested guests.

Members also travel abroad to pursue more information about their hobby, and to acquire new specimens. Other members work to promote responsible stingray keeping via the Internet. Those interested to join the SCP are offered three kinds of memberships, depending on their passion level for the hobby. “In our club, It doesn’t matter if you have the most expensive fish; what matters is how you value your fish by studying it and giving it the best care possible,” Manny explains.

One can choose to be a member of the Facebook page, or choose to become a full-fledged member with full participation in their activities. Those who own pet and supply stores can become corporate affiliates. All members can take confidence from SCP’s registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and how many of its leaders are renowned in the local fishkeeping hobby.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s August 2015 issue.