Reef Stewardship Foundation (RSF)

Who They Are And What They Do:

This group held their annual meeting in our backyard and we were host to both Dr. Brian Plankis and Eric Borneman from Houston. This meeting gave us great insight into their organization. Their mission statement as follows:

Our mission is to foster a diverse stewardship community that protects coral reefs through collaborative action, research, education, and aquaculture initiatives.

The reality is that our oceans and reefs are under numerous threats and RSF seeks to conduct research yielding qualitative and quantitative data to fill basic knowledge gaps, provide practical knowledge regarding the captive breeding of species, encourage the global use of breeding techniques to supplant wild collection, disseminate information to pertinent stakeholders and empower an environmentally sensitive and personally engaged citizenry.

We invited Dr. Brian Plankis to a local club meeting about 2 years ago where he was promoting Project DIBS. If you are familiar with that organization then this one should be ring a bell. It is simply the same organization renamed and expanded.

I highly recommend visiting their website and perusing the forums. You might be surprised at some of the species of animals and inverts that are being worked with by hobbyists like you and I. You will find discussions about Banggai Cardinalfish, Six Line Wrasse, sea anemones, corals, crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp, marine worms, sea stars, sea urchins, molluscs (clams, snails, nudibranchs), and more. In addition to species discussions, there are many other helpful forums aimed at food culturing, larval rearing, etc.

This is an area that few hobbyists venture. It is not for the casual hobbyists by any means. Nothing is impossible if we have the drive and determination to understand and develop techniques that are reasonable, repeatable, and uniform.

Something that we as hobbyists fail to realize is that many of the corals we keep are brooding corals meaning that they internally fertilize the eggs prior to releasing in our aquariums. These broods are easily timed and the larvae can be collected and reared in a specialized tank. This information is readily available.

For anyone seriously interested in breeding corals I highly recommend picking up Breeding Techniques for Reefbuilding Corals by Dirk Petersen. The information described above is contained within the pages of this book. Of special note, Eric Borneman who has and continues to assist in Project SECORE has personal experience working with Acropora palmata and rearing this technically extinct coral in captivity. He is one of a handful of professionals that most within our hobby recognize and hold in high esteem for their knowledge and contributions. Brian and Eric both plan to help aid in the development of easy to use, uniform procedures for hobbyists.

It is debatable as to when but at some point in time we are likely to face zero wild collections from our oceans and reefs. When this happens we will be faced with the great challenge of meeting our needs on a home-grown level. I think that it is imperative that we begin to focus on achieving the goals before we lose what we all tend to take for granted.

If you are interested in helping this organization, there are means to do so via the website.

Please visit RSF at: Reef Stewardship Foundation (RSF)

  • Is there a more recent link to visit for the Reef Stewardship Foundation? The link on the page sends one to a “dating” site or forum of some type. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Mahalo nui!

    • Stay tuned… I’m a long-time friend of Brian’s (I just can’t bring myself to call him ‘Dr. Plankis’ since I used to play D&D with him in middle school! haha). We’ve been kicking around the idea of restarting the RSF and getting it moving forward again. 🙂

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