Coral reefs are dying, and according to sources like the National Ocean Service and the Smithsonian Ocean Portal, climate change is a large reason why. Besides the obvious harmful effects on the ocean's ecosystems and the consequent impact on fish, scientists predict that 90 percent of the world's tropical reefs will be gone in the next 20 years, threatening 25 percent of the world's marine life.
It's also devastating to coastal communities. Nearly half a billion people who depend on coral reefs for food, income and coastal protection may be impacted without intervention.
The SHEBA brand, a proud part of the Mars family of brands, is announcing its continued commitment to restoring coral reefs with the help of Auli`i Cravalho, Hawaiian-born actress, singer and cat parent.
The brand is thrilled to bring its efforts closer to home through a partnership with Kuleana Coral Reefs, a nonprofit organisation helping to restore and protect Hawai`i's coral reefs and native ecosystems.
"More coral means more fish and more fish helps maintain marine ecosystems here in Hawai`i and around the world," said Alika Garcia, co-founder of Kuleana Coral Reefs.
"We're happy to work with the SHEBA brand to maximise our impact in the archipelago. By protecting coral, we're protecting our family."
The word "Kuleana" means "reciprocal responsibility" in Hawaiian, pulling from a deep emotional and spiritual connection between the natural world and native Hawaiians. To honour one's "Kuleana," Hawaiians must care for, nurture, and love coral (and all living things), and coral has a reciprocal responsibility to feed and love Hawaiians.
This shared responsibility to the environment, a mutual mission to ensure the future has more fish, and sustained action to protect and support our oceans is what has brought the SHEBA brand together with Kuleana Coral Reefs.
Meaningful partnerships like this one help expand impact. With the SHEBA brand's support, Kuleana Coral Reefs has already accelerated its work to the broader Hawaiian archipelago – increasing from 10 to 30 sites across O'ahu and Maui.
"We know that cats love fish, and while we all want to provide our beloved picky eaters with high-quality and nutritious food, care should be taken to minimise the impact on the planet," said Jean-Paul Jansen, Vice President of Marketing for Mars Petcare North America.
"As a brand that's proudly part of Mars, we believe the world we want tomorrow is one in which the planet is healthy, which is why we are taking continued action today to help achieve that. We're thrilled to be able to partner with Kuleana Coral Reefs to maximise impact here in the USA to help ensure a future with more fish."
To rally support for this coral reef restoration, the SHEBA brand has partnered with Auli`i Cravalho, Hawaiian-born actress, singer and pet parent to her cat Rocco, to show that everyone can make a difference to help restore the planet's health.
"I grew up on the beaches and coastlines of Hawai`i, surrounded by the ocean, and I've seen firsthand the impact climate change has had," said Cravalho.
"I feel strongly that we all are responsible for making the future more sustainable. That's why I'm excited that my partnership with the SHEBA brand allows me to shine a spotlight on an extraordinary organisation, Kuleana Coral Reefs, and their work to preserve and restore the beauty in our oceans to help ensure our future has fish."
Cravalho is encouraging everyone to join her, the SHEBA brand and Kuleana Coral Reefs to practice Laulima, a Hawaiian term for many hands working together.
The cat food brand's Sheba Hope Grows program has been working to ensure a future with more fish since 2019, leading with Hope Reef. Located off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, the reef is one of the world's largest repaired coral reefs and spells out the word "HOPE" when viewed from above. It's even become a Historical Landmark on Google Earth and can be found on Google Maps and StreetView. Since work began, coral growth has increased from two percent to 70 percent, fish populations have increased by 260 percent, and there's been a 64 percent rise in the number of fish species.
By showing the world that there's a man-made solution to this man-made problem that can be implemented at scale, the SHEBA brand is inspiring others, driving momentum and demonstrating that it is possible to have a plentiful, sustainable fish population for years to come.