Marine Reef Habitat in Holyoke, Mass. an aquaculture facility that raises corals has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in hopes of raising funds for a larger green house to grow more coral for the reef aquarium hobby and to help reduce the collection of corals in the wild. “The only place that an individual can make a difference to the threats our reefs face, is reducing and eventually stopping the over collection issue,” said Gerardo Ramos, owner of Marine Reef Habitat. Ramos has 20 years experience in aquaculture and seven years experience in the retail and wholesale marine aquarium business.
On his Indiegogo crowdfunding page, Ramos proposes a 40 x 40 foot greenhouse heated by solar panels to help him grow more coral frags that can then be sold to reef aquarium enthusiasts. After the establishment of the new greenhouse, Ramos wants to expand coral reef restoration efforts in his home country of Puerto Rico. Over the last two years, Ramos has been traveling to Puerto Rico to plant coral frags on a damaged coral reef. The company is also going to donate 25 percent of the profits of the sales of coral frags to coral reef restoration projects around the world. Ramos overall goal is to help, in his own way, provide a sustainable colony of corals so collection in the wild can be eliminated.
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Coral reefs around the world have been in decline for decades due to such issues as climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, and in certain parts of the world, over collection of marine species, including corals. The industry is largely unregulated, though efforts have been proposed to encourage and maintain sustainable collection methods.
Marine Reef Habitat’s pitch on Indiegogo can be seen here.