This World Ocean Day, on June 8, 2021, family owned, South Australian winery Wakefield Wines have announced their partnership with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) to launch a new fundraising initiative to save the White’s seahorse, and their habitats, from extinction.
With the global pandemic and the global environmental threats from climate change, plastic pollution, overfishing and habitat destruction, the need to protect and restore our oceans has never been more important than now. New Canadian research released from Oceana Canada states that an overwhelming majority of Canadians care deeply about healthy oceans and protecting wild fish populations: 95 percent of all Canadians — 99 percent of Atlantic Canadians — say it is an important part of our post-pandemic economic recovery.
The White’s Seahorse
The White’s seahorse is currently the only Australian seahorse to be classified as endangered and one of the only two seahorses globally. The seahorse’s natural home – the seagrass posidonia australis – is declining at a rapid rate and now they simply have nowhere to live. Now you can donate to meet the $150,000 goal and help to save the seahorses.
The survival of seagrass is also crucial to the fight against climate change. The White’s seahorse is endemic to the east coast of Australia and is one of only two seahorses on the planet to be listed as an Endangered species. Their preferred homes, the underwater seagrass meadows known as posidonia australis, are declining at a rapid rate, the same rate as the beloved coral reefs.
The SeaBnB Campaign
The SeaBnB campaign is a fundraising initiative calling on supporters from around the world to give these underwater equines a temporary home or ‘hotel’ while SIMS researchers work to rebuild their permanent, seagrass habitats. 100% of donations (less any transaction fees) go directly towards SIMS’ research projects with the aim to fully restore the seahorse’s natural habitats and give these animals a fighting chance to avoid extinction. The aim is to raise $150,000, with $10,000 donated by the Taylor family (Wakefield Wines) winery to kickstart the campaign.
Saving Sydney’s Endangered Seahorses
Wakefield Wines third-generation Winemaker and Managing Director Mitchell Taylor and marine scientists from SIMS have come together to save Sydney’s Endangered seahorses from extinction. In partnership, family-owned South Australian winery Wakefield Wines and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) launched this initiative to save Australia’s Endangered White’s seahorse from extinction. Why did Wakefield Wines do this? Well, when Wakefield wines dug their first vineyard dam they found tiny fossilized seahorses – a discovery that the owners and winery found were a promise of the land and an indicator of how fertile the soils were for grape growing. Today the seahorses are on the Promised Land wines and are a symbol of quality and proudly featured on the labels for the Shiraz and the Cabernet Sauvignon.
“Seahorses, much like grapevines, are an indicator species that raise the alarm to serious climate related issues. It’s very important we do what we can to reverse their population decline before it’s too late.”Wakefield Wines third-generation Winemaker and Managing Director Mitchell Taylor
A new chain of five-star hotels are set to open in Sydney Harbour and only guests of the seahorse variety will be welcome to stay. The SeaBnB campaign is a fundraising initiative calling on Australians to give these underwater equines a temporary home while SIMS researchers work to rebuild their permanent, seagrass habitats. 100% of donations (less any transaction fees) go directly towards SIMS’ research projects with the aim to fully restore the seahorse’s natural habitats and give these animals a fighting chance to avoid extinction.
“Many people don’t realise that changes in the earth’s climate system impact both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Every second breath we take is from our oceans. The SeaBnB initiative is an important project that brings together two areas of research – restoring seagrass meadows in Sydney Harbour, and artificial seahorse habitats for the endangered White’s seahorse. We hope this campaign will inspire everyone to support our work and learn more about the importance of these restoration efforts.”SIMS CEO Martina Doblin
Everyone around the world is invited to donate by “booking an accommodation package in the SeaBnB” for a seahorse, while SIMS researchers restore their damaged seagrass habitats.
To launch the campaign, Wakefield Wines have called upon Australian record freediver Adam Stern to act as an underwater hotel concierge for incoming seahorse guests in a short film about the initiative.
The Project’s Phases
Funds raised for this campaign directly supports three phases of SIMS research and restoration projects.
- Phase 1A – is to develop a greater scientific understanding of the success of extending the seahorses’ natural seagrass habitat with the temporary SeaBnB structures
- Phase 1B – will trial the restoration of Posidonia meadows in areas of Sydney Harbour where they have drastically declined
- Phase 2 – of the project will be the rehabilitation of Posidonia seagrass in one major site in Sydney Harbour
- Phase 3 – will be the rehabilitation of the Sydney seahorse populations in Sydney Harbour. This will be based on the successful rearing of seahorse babies with a partner organisation, followed by the reintroduction of seahorses to the established Posidonia site
Donations to the SeaBnB initiative, as well as additional information about the project, is available at www.seabnb.com.au .
Wakefield Wines to Taste:
Promised Land Shiraz 2019
A soft and fleshy shiraz full of juicy red fruits, plum and spice and chocolate, making it perfectly delicious!
Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Balanced and medium-bodied with juicy blackcurrant, notes of coffee, and oak with a silky mouthfeel and great finish.