The SEASMART program is taking to Indigogo — a crowdfunding website — to raise funds for its goal to transform the aquarium trade. You might remember EcoEZ SEASMART’s pilot program from Papua New Guinea that helped change the trade over there but became embroiled in legal issues with the PNG government. Now SEASMART is looking to continue the momentum they created by taking it to the Philippines to help transform the industry there.
SEASMART is resurrecting the program and if successful in the Philippines, the program could expand to other fisheries in the coral triangle. The collection practices and fisheries in the Philippines have definitely been strained over the years. A program like SEASMART makes sense there in order to not only ensure the ecosystem can stay healthy, but that it can also sustain an active and profitable fishery in the ornamental trade.
Crowdfunding from sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have been instrumental in getting products and programs off the ground and if you are interested, the you can donate anywhere from $10 to $7,500 to help SEASMART reach its goal of $75,000 raised. With seven days left, the program has raised a little over $5,000. Here is part of the official description from the Indiegogo website:
Have you ever seen a film documenting the extreme beauty and diversity of our coral reef ecosystems and wondered what you could do to ensure that these places stay healthy for future generations? Then you’ve come to the right page. Have you ever read an article about the devastation of the world’s reefs due to anthropogenic causes and wished you could do something to protect and restore what’s still there? Then you’ve clicked on the right link. Have you ever thought about the huge disparity in income between our American citizens and the coastal citizens of less developed nations and wanted to help? Then you’re still in the right place. SEASMART gives us a global solution to these issues through sustainable coastal development strategies that can be applied anywhere on the planet that there are both people and water. Please be involved in starting this “sea change” with us in a place that’s considered the center of marine biodiversity: the Coral Triangle.