“ENN is not in the business of assisting crowdfunding efforts. Now and then, however, an idea is so compelling and potentially beneficial to our environment that we feel moved to make our readers aware of it. 6 Oceans is one such effort.” Thus ENNwas cited in 6 Oceans’ campaign page regarding its Spotlight on the crowdfunding project.
The Pilot Project 6 Oceans Campaign was launched at Indiegogo by Mario Alves from Cape Town, South Africa. The campaign is raising $15,000 to develop an online platform focused on sustainable management of marine and freshwater species. The database will provide information on breeding programs and aquarium care of vulnerable and endangered species. The funds will also be used to as a foundation to start breeding facilities as well as to cover travel costs during site inspections.
Its online platform will also have a directory of contacts relevant to sustainable marine and freshwater species management (government, marine industry, commercial fishing and seafood industry). The project also promised to provide information on seafood restaurant guides, seafood recipes, as well as ocean themed games and apps.
Indonesia is mentioned as a prime example where one can find several of the challenges mentioned above. Being the fourth most populous nation in the world, Indonesia struggles with increasing coastal population that might have negative impacts on its marine ecosystem if not handled properly. According to the project, Indonesia has thousands of marine species and contains more varieties of reef than the Great Barrier Reef. However, only 6% of Indonesia’s reefs are in a pristine state. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) states that the archipelago’s coral reefs, grass beds, mangroves, and other associated ecosystems are home to over 3,000 species of fish. Indonesia’s coral reefs are comprised of over 500 coral species and are home to more than 10,000 species of plants and invertebrates. Indonesia is part of the famous Coral Triangle along with parts of Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.
6 Oceans’ campaign page cites several challenges to vulnerable and endangered marine species:
- Over fishing for food products
- Marine and freshwater pollution
- Aquarium trade
- Sport fishing
- Accidental reef damage by tourists and divers
Just like other crowdfunding campaigns, 6 Oceans offers perks for contributors in return for their support. A $10 donation will get a contributor newsletters and updates on the team’s progress. $50 and $250 entitles contributors to lifetime individual and family membership, respectively. Higher contributions are also available for companies: $1000 (Bronze Sponsor Status), $2000 (Silver Sponsor Status), $4000 (Gold Sponsor Status), and $8000 (Platinum Sponsor Status). Funding for the 6 Oceans project is open until the end of the month.
The project cited more than a hundred species it would consider to work on with its partner facilities in Indonesia. WCS confirms that many of the fish and coral species that have been recently discovered in Indonesian waters are not fully understood in terms of conservation status and environmental needs. Thus a campaign like 6 Oceans could be be critical in laying the foundation for future sustainable management of marine and freshwater species.
“The 6 Oceans Project started off as an idea, an idea that we slowly continued to build on. We need to hugely increase our public awareness to ensure that something that started off as an idea grows to be much more productive and sustainable.”