Shoal sponsored freshwater fish becomes world’s second #NatureCollectible or “digital species”
The darkedged splitfin Girardinichthys multiradiatus, an endemic and Endangered fish found in Mexico, was launched as the world’s second #NatureCollectible or NFTC (non-fungible token for Conservation) at the IUCN World Conservation Congress on September 7th 2021.
It will join the Seychelles magpie robin as a new digital species collectible sold on a zero-carbon blockchain infrastructure. All funds from the sale will go to Shoal as the conservation actor for the conservation of the species. The splitfin will be part of the #NatureCollectibles portfolio that has been developed as an innovative form of revenue generation for highly threatened species that need urgent funding and conservation action.
The initiative was created by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s ‘Green List Exchange’ and the Porini Foundation, alongside Nature Seychelles. Shoal has now joined as a partner. The tokens have been minted by the Porini Foundation, a Swiss based NGO on a carbon-free blockchain. This is a major breakthrough in terms of negating the high energy consumption of prior blockchain technology. Tokens are selling from USD 20 – USD 1,000 and can be easily purchased through a dedicated mobile application. It is hoped that the initial sale of the fish will raise USD 10,000 for its conservation in Mexico.
The darkedged splitfin is restricted to a small area of Mexico, and the conservation for the species is concentrated in the beautiful mountainous Zempoala Lagoons National Park, Mexico. The splitfins – or Goodeid – fishes are one of the most threatened group of species in the world. Some are extinct in the wild, and some like the tequila splitfin have been saved from the edge of the extinction through captive breeding and release. Many of the species are confined to a few small ponds and streams in desert areas of Mexico.
Conservation work in Zempoala Lagoons National Park, Mexico © Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath
All raised funds will be passed onto the Ichthyology Centre at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Mexico: the leaders on the conservation of this fish and many other threatened fishes.
The head of the conservation programme, Prof. Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath, said: “The dark-edged splitfin lives in one of the most densely populated regions of the world, with about 45 million people. Its range has been contracting since the 1990s, mainly due to pollution and invasive species. Even though the lakes of Zempoala National Park are not free of human impacts, they sustain four relatively healthy populations of the darkedged splitfin, that with some support, and a bit more local involvement, could be transformed into a freshwater sanctuary that will allow its long-term conservation”.
He adds: “Funds for fish conservation are always hard to find and so we welcome any excellent innovations such as #NatureCollectibles that may provide new sources of funds for neglected but highly threatened species”.
© Topiltzin Contreras MacBeath