Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - August 5, 2021) - With summer in full swing in Canada, family-owned Australian winery Wakefield Wines is on a worldwide mission to save seahorses. The winery has partnered with Project Seahorse, the global leaders in seahorse conservation, to support their vital work in protecting these quirky fish species and ultimately the health of our oceans.
Project Seahorse, based at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, makes discoveries & collaborates globally to take effective action for the seahorses and their seas. According to Project Seahorse, robust seahorse populations are dependent on healthy oceans. Around the world, seahorses come under pressure from many factors including nonselective fisheries, degradation of coastal habitats, and climate change.
This summer, Wakefield Wines are calling on people to help raise much needed funds for Project Seahorse and advocate for their oceans. Wakefield's social channels will showcase a series of ocean photography captured by wildlife and conservation photographers from Canada, the United Kingdom and USA.
By building an army of ocean ambassadors, the two organizations aim to show how local actions can have global impact. Wakefield is kickstarting the campaign by committing AUD$10,000 to Project Seahorse.
Though winemakers and marine scientists may appear as an unlikely duo, Wakefield third-generation Winemaker and Managing Director Mitchell Taylor acknowledges both organizations face a common challenge.
"Seahorses, much like grapevines, are an indicator species that raise the alarm to serious climate-related issues. To reverse the decline in seahorse populations we need to take a step back to look more closely at how we care for our oceans more broadly."
Project Seahorse Director and Co-Founder Amanda Vincent, a Professor at UBC, was the first ever marine conservationist to receive the Indianapolis Prize, the world's top award for animal conservation. This award is given every two years for scientists and researchers who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species. Pioneering work by Project Seahorse has identified that saving seahorses is about more than just looking at the species in isolation.
As a Canadian who has spent her fair share of time in the ocean locally and abroad, Amanda has seen firsthand our impact on marine environments.
"All of us in Canada need to develop a sense of stewardship for our ocean... and our seahorses. Forty percent of Canada's surface area is marine and we have the longest coastline of any country, yet we pay scant attention to the ocean. Looking after our seahorses in Nova Scotia is part of protecting our ocean heritage and caring for our ocean's future."
Steve Woods is a Vancouver based wildlife and conservation photographer who will be capturing the beauty of Canada's local oceans. His underwater photography showcases how awe-inspiring the ocean is. Canadians are invited to share their own stories and contribute images of the ocean through the hashtag #ouroceanhome making sure to tag Wakefield Wines and Project Seahorse.
Seahorses have been a symbol on all Wakefield wine bottles for over fifty years. The winery's passion for seahorse conservation started in Australia where Wakefield is also partnering with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) on a project to help save Australia's Endangered White's Seahorse from extinction.
Mitchell Taylor is proud to be supporting conservation efforts not just in Australia's own backyard but now, by working with Project Seahorse, in Canada and around the world.
"We're excited to extend our network of seahorse partnerships and work with a global leader like Project Seahorse in seahorse conservation. Their research recognizes the pressures on our ocean as urgent, and their research is geared towards real-world conservation impact," says Mitchell.
Amanda Vincent added: "We have the knowledge and skills to advance ocean conservation. Now, it's about spreading the awareness on how to take action and make a change."
Donations to Project Seahorse as well as additional information is available at wakefieldwines.com/projectseahorse.
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