Walt Smith of Walt Smith International in Fiji has long been an advocate of mariculture and sustainability in our hobby. He’s the founder of ADE, Aquaculture Development for the Environment, a nonprofit organization registered in the US and Fiji that enables coral reef conservation and restoration projects within Fiji and around the world. You can check out the excellent video that Robert from Marine Depot has made here:
http://mdshop.us/WaltSmith We recently had the pleasure of speaking with with industry pioneer Walt Smith about his Aquaculture Development for the Environment (A.D.E.) Project and his rich history in the marine aquarium hobby. This episode is jam-packed with information so we’ve included timestamps in the video description to highlight some of our favorite topics.
With Fijian exports on corals and live rocks shutting down for the foreseeable future, Walt is turning his attention to a different way to educate the masses about the ocean: a children’s book series called Bula Buddies. Walt doesn’t stray far from his roots. His book is all about raising awareness about the damages that we are creating in the world’s oceans and it has a serious message behind it. What is Bula? Bula, like the Italian “prego” or the Hawaiian “aloha,” is a word in the Fijian language that is now imbued with a variety of meanings, each of which depends on the situation. The word (pronounced as boolah) literally means “life” and is most commonly used as a greeting, meaning “hello!” Why is this good thing? The book teaches our young ones about the importance of the coral reef and raises awareness; both the children, and the parents that are reading to their children, can learn a lot. It helps that the story is entertaining and the characters are well thought out and likeable. My children stayed engaged, interested, and entertained throughout our entire storytime. If you wish to purchase this book, you can do so through the link here.
We look forward to continuing our underwater adventure with our fellow Bula Buddies in the near future, and we eagerly wait for the next book in the series! Vinaka Walt and Debbie, I wish you guys the best in this new adventure!