#SOShoal | Support Our Shoal

SOS: Support Our Shoal is an
innovative approach to conservation.

It’s led by the aquarium hobby and was established with OATA and Practical Fishkeeping’s support and guidance. It puts the power right in the hands of the businesses and individuals that make the aquarist community such a rich, diverse, and exciting industry.

We all know that aquarists love the animals and plants they keep, and want to see them thrive in the wild.

But many don’t know how they can help ensure the species’ futures.

And freshwater fish species need your help! With one in three facing the threat of extinction, it’s never been more urgent for people to step up and give them a shot at survival. You can be the heroes in this story – you can be the ones to bring these fish back from the brink!

SOS: Support Our Shoal provides a reliable channel to direct funding towards the conservation projects that are needed most.

The first appeal under the SOS banner is to “Save Denise’s Friends!” – wild populations of the popular red line torpedo barb, also known as the Denison’s barb.

“The launch of the SOS: Support Our Shoal campaign is a rallying cry to those who care about what is happening to freshwater species and want to be part of the solution. Shoal provides a reliable platform for the aquarium world to fund conservation projects that really work. This is a landmark time for the aquarium community, and collaborating with us is a demonstration that it is beginning to take conservation seriously”.

Mike Baltzer, Shoal’s executive director.

Photo: Rajeev Raghavan

The challenge is big. But together, we can achieve wonders. Show your commitment today and be proud to Support Our Shoal.

We welcome individual donations, and are keen to hear from businesses about establishing a more regular fundraising mechanism. We can offer guidance on ways to fundraise, including asking consumers to round up purchases to the closest £1, adding a 1% levy on sales, and other long-term ideas.

Drop us a message and let’s chat!

Photo: Rajeev Raghavan

Denise icon: Sam Julian

Conservation action for the the red line torpedo barb Sahyadria denisonii

Denise is a beautiful red line torpedo barb. She lives in an aquarium and is well cared for by her responsible owners. But she is concerned for her wild friends in the Western Ghats region in southern India, as they face extinction due to habitat loss and unsustainable fishing.

Denise’s friends are endangered and in trouble, but you can help.

The much-loved aquarium fish goes by many names, including the Denison’s barb, Miss Kerala, and roseline shark. The species comes from the incredible Western Ghats region of India and, due to its striking good looks, it quickly became popular as an aquarium fish.

Unfortunately, when it was introduced to the aquarium hobby, it was collected and sold around the world so much that the population declined rapidly. In 2010, the fish was officially declared as endangered.

Since then, most of the fish you can buy in the aquarium shops have been bred in captivity, so the pressure on wild populations has partly been reduced. However, Denise’s friends are still collected at high, unsustainable rates. They also face many new problems, such as fishing with dynamite, destruction of their habitat, and pollution. This little fish faces many big problems.

Without immediate action, Denise’s wild friends could soon face extinction.

We can save them, but we need your support.

Photo: Rajeev Raghavan

With your financial support, Shoal will work with our partners, Zoo Outreach, in India to take immediate action for Denise’s friends.

We will:

1Ensure fishing is sustainable: Help to train the local fishing communities to improve the way they collect and keep the fishes so that they do not reduce the wild population unsustainably.

2Protect their habitat: Protect the most important habitats by firstly mapping the red line torpedo barb’s distribution and identifying the best places to provide protection for the species, as well as many other rare and threatened fishes that live within the area.