Winery Taylors Wines and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) have launched a fundraising project to save the endangered White’s seahorse.
As part of the SeaBnB campaign, a new chain of “five-star hotels” for the seahorse will be opened in Sydney Harbour, providing a temporary home for them while SIMS researchers work to rebuild their permanent, seagrass habitats.
The funds raised will be used in SIMS’ three-phrase research projects in order to restore the seahorse’s native home and save the creatures from extinction.
“Seahorses, much like grapevines, are an indicator species that raise the alarm to serious climate-related issues,” said Mitchell Taylor, third-generation winemaker at Taylors Wines. “It’s very important we do what we can to reverse their population decline before it’s too late.”
The White’s seahorse is one of only two seahorses on the planet to be listed as an endangered species. Its native home, the seagrass Posidonia australis, is now also listed as endangered due to its rapid decline.
The goal of the initiative is to raise $150,000, with $10,000 donated by the family winery to kickstart the campaign. Australian record freediver Adam Stern has been hired as the “SeaBnB hotel concierge” to welcome the incoming seahorse guests in a campaign film
“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 Sydney seahorse,” said Martina Doblin, CEO at SIMS.
“We hope this campaign will inspire everyone to support our work and learn more about the importance of these restoration efforts.”