Walt Smith International, LTD (WSI) is the first company to obtain the Friend of the Sea certification for sustainable corals and ornamental fish.
Coral reefs are the largest living geological structures on earth. These ecosystems are home to roughly 25% of all marine life, and protect coastlines from erosion and storms. Global warming, ocean acidification, pollution, overfishing and coastal development have seriously damaged the planet’s coral reefs.
Since 1998 WSI has been exporting farmed coral from its aquaculture program to the aquarium industry worldwide, thus avoiding 100% collection from the wild. In addition to their highly sustainable collection from the wild, which represents less than .001% of the resource, WSI has implemented many advanced farming techniques over the years that have actually increased the size of the habitat in which they currently work. On average there are about twenty corals growing for every one that is brought to market. This leaves the remainder of the corals to be planted on the nearby reefs. This dedication to sustainability and stewardship earned WSI the respect and accolades of the scientific community worldwide. Walt’s pioneering work in coral farming has paved the way for others in the industry to follow. Friend of the Sea has donated to WSI’s coral propagation and replanting program, which also provides benefit to the islands’ communities.
Some of WSI’s ornamental fish species have also been certified. The species are not listed in the IUCN redlist and the company complies with all CITES requirements. Their Collection Management Plan includes no take and restricted/controlled areas monitored by the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas. Non-destructive fishing methods are taught and used by all collectors employed at WSI.
“With our coral farms, we work toward relieving the pressure on the populations in the wild created by many factors of human impact and developing an alternative source for aquarium owners”, explains Walt Smith, President of WSI. “We are glad to join the Friend of the Sea program. We hope others in the industry will also apply for Friend of the Sea certification and share our efforts in a better understanding towards increased conservation and stewardship of the marine habitat we all share. ”
Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Over 450 companies in more than 50 countries have relied on Friend of the Sea to assess the sustainability of their seafood products. Audits are undertaken by internationally recognized independent certification bodies utilizing the most current scientific data.
Walt Smith International, LTD (WSI)
Exporter of awesome Fiji livestock including live aquarium fish, corals, farmed corals, live rock, cultured live rock and aquarium additives.
Walt Smith International is committed to Fijian community based farming projects such as Reefproject 2.0 which supports the ADE Project and the Coral Ark Project which adds much needed income and coral farming knowledge to many Fijian villagers. In doing so Walt Smith contributes a portion of Reef Rock 2.1 sales to the ADE project.
Learn more about how to donate to the ADE Project and the company in the links provided below.