SHEBA joins forces to undertake coral restoration program

Island Community working together for Hope Reef. Photo courtesy of Mars Petcare/By IN Deed

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 – SHEBA, a Mars Incorporated petfood brand has joined forces with the island community of Bontosua in Sulawesi, Indonesia to undertake a gigantic coral restoration programme known as Hope Reef.

Located off the coast of Sulawesi, Hope Reef was created to kick-start an even larger restoration effort and create a movement to restore reefs at a large, ecologically relevant scale. With the help of governments, universities, businesses and NGOs, Mars, Incorporated started the Hope Reef coral restoration program in 2019, said a statement issued by the petfood company in conjunction with the celebration of World Ocean’s Day recently.

The program utilizes handmade reef star structures known as the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS), which are locally sourced and handmade by the local people of Bontosua to restore more than 185,000 square metres of coral reef around the world by the end of 2029.

Wee Li Ying, Country Director of Mars Pet Nutrition Malaysia, said: “Through our investment in restoration initiatives like Hope Reef, we hope to inspire others and demonstrate that habitat and biodiversity loss can be reversed.

“As the oceans’ most diverse ecosystem, coral reefs are at the heart of our efforts. We are delighted to report that since the Hope Reef project started, coral cover around the island of Bontosua has increased from 5% to 55%. Fish abundance has increased by 300%. Other species, such as sharks and turtles, are also returning.”

Hope Reef is a symbol of hope for the future of our oceans and the start of a movement to restore these vital ecosystems.

As part of its efforts to raise awareness of the reef restoration project, the pet brand company is encouraging people to watch The Film That Grows Coral on YouTube where every view helps to raise money for reef restoration through their campaign partner, The Nature Conservancy.