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.

darkedged splitfin NFT

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

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

Buyers of the darkedged splitfin will benefit by knowing that they have one of the earliest #NatureCollectibles. Not only might this become valuable, but they have also made a carbon-free contribution to conservation and helped a species from extinction.

Mike Baltzer, Shoal’s executive director, said: “We are delighted that the IUCN and Porini Foundation team has chosen a freshwater fish for this exciting innovation. We need every help we can get to raise the profile of freshwater fish and most importantly raise the funds to initiate action before we lose any more fish species”.

Shoal will be working with the development team to add more fishes to the collection and ensure that new action is launched from the funds raised.

The funds will be used to maintain a community-led monitoring programme for the fish and to inform the hundreds of thousands of tourists that visit the National Park every year about the fish.

If you want to invest in the conservation of the dark-edged splitfin, and get a #NatureCollectible, then follow these steps:

View the NFTCs currently available here.

  • Download the Green List Marketplace app here:
  • Follow the steps and create your wallet for the fish
  • Go to Collectibles > Explore collectibles
  • Pick ‘darkedged splitfin’
  • Add to cart and purchase
  • Receive email confirmation with delivery instructions (with video) on how to get it delivered to your wallet

Why is Shoal working with the IUCN/Porini Foundation #naturecollectibles?

Shoal was created to support overlooked and neglected freshwater species. The neglect that these species have suffered is due to a lack of awareness and understanding about the richness and importance of this biodiversity, leading to a lack of financial support.

Shoal is committed to inspiring a new scale of action and new sources of funding. NFTCs, developed by IUCN and partners, and based on species, places and conservation actors, has the potential to raise attention and help raise the funds that these species so desperately need. When you purchase a #NatureCollectibles token, it is both a potential investment and a donation to the conservation of a highly threatened species.

The minimum we hope to raise for the darkedged splitfin is USD 10,000. This will make a significant impact for the species.