News Oase Funds Urgent Conservation Work



OASE funds urgent conservation work
17th November 2021

By Justine Thompson

Leading aquatics company OASE has formed a partnership with Shoal, the global initiative to halt extinctions and recover populations of the most threatened freshwater species.

Through the partnership, OASE will provide vital funding for Shoal to carry out urgent conservation work around the globe.

Over the coming months, OASE’s support will broadly target Shoal’s work across four continents and in 15 countries. More specifically, it will contribute to the search for Colombia’s mysterious fat catfish, one of the Top 10 Most Wanted species in Shoal’s Search for the Lost Fishes programme. A Colombian expedition team led by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia will head out to Lake Tota, northeast of Bogota, in December to start the search. Link.

As major sponsors for the search for the fat catfish, OASE is creating the opportunity for a fascinating creature to have a chance of rediscovery. With remarkable rings of fatty tissue circling its body, the fat catfish looks like no other creature known to science. Having not been seen since 1957, the species has perplexed scientists for decades.

Funding for OASE will form a major contribution to costs associated with organising expeditions to find the species and, if successful, implementing a conservation programme to bring it back from the brink of extinction.

Through the partnership, OASE has become the first corporation to work with Shoal for the benefit of freshwater ecosystems. With one in three freshwater fish species threatened with extinction, it has never been more urgent for companies to step up and help find solutions to the global freshwater biodiversity crisis.

Mike Baltzer, Shoal’s executive director, said: “This is an exciting, watershed moment for freshwater species conservation. OASE is a leader and innovator in the aquarium hobby, and by partnering with Shoal, they have shown their commitment to face the challenge with us to finally tackle the freshwater species crisis so neglected and overlooked until now. We hope they will be first of many and will help create a tsunami of global support across the hobby.”

Thorsten Muck, OASE’s CEO, said: “We believe in the importance of accelerating and intensifying action to save the most threatened fish and other freshwater species. We hope to assist Shoal in the best way possible with species conservation. Not only financially, but especially by drawing attention to this important mission.

“Shoal unites many strategic partners who fight together for the protection of species. We believe that this kind of cooperation has a great chance of success in species conservation and therefore find Shoal particularly worthy of support.”

Freshwater ecosystems face more threat from species extinctions than marine or terrestrial environments, yet they have historically been overlooked and underfunded. The partnership between Shoal and OASE sets a timely precedent for how corporations can be key players in turning the tide on extinctions.