Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge

Photo Credit: USAID
The Challenge Blog

For the Fishes' app helps protect coral reef fish

Prize Winner For the Fishes is fighting wildlife crime

Welcome to an installment of our Spotlight series, highlighting each of our 16 Prize Winners working to combat wildlife crime around the globe. Find out about all 16 Prize Winners here, and check back in on Mondays for a new Spotlight post.

Tens of millions of tropical fish are taken from the wild for aquariums each year, often in very destructive ways that harm marine wildlife and environments. Of particular concern is the practice of using cyanide, which is poisonous and harms and kills coral reefs, fish, and other marine wildlife. That’s why Hawaii-based Prize Winner For the Fishes developed Tank Watch: The Good Fish Bad Fish Tool, a mobile app designed to inform consumers about these destructive practices and reduce consumer demand for illegally-caught fish.

For the Fishes’ Executive Director Rene Umberger estimates that up to 90% of the aquarium fish sold in markets may have been captured using cyanide. “Most people have no idea this is going on,” says Umberger. “Most people don’t know that just 2% of the fish species typically kept in saltwater tanks can be captive bred.”

Enter Tank Watch. The app is for aquarium hobbyists, helping them to identify captive-bred fish and to steer clear of fish captured on coral reefs. Launched on iOS in 2014 and Android in 2016, For the Fishes is now focused on building up its user base. “We’re looking to get Tank Watch into the hands of about 200,000 new users every year,” says Umberger, with the ultimate goal of preventing approximately one million fish from being captured on coral reefs per year. To achieve this goal, For the Fishes is searching for funding as well as partners and corporate sponsors to help reinforce their conservation message.

Find out about each of Challenge’s 16 talented Prize Winners and their game-changing innovations to fight wildlife crime here. All of our Prize Winners, including For the Fishes, are looking for partners, organizations, individuals, and funding agencies that can help them scale their solutions. If you would like more information, get in touch at info@wildlifecrimetech.org.



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