Shock Campaign: Non-Profit Threatens A Goldfish In The Name Of Ocean Cleanup

Project Kaisei, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and clean up of marine debris, is doing something a little bit taboo with their latest fundraising campaign—they are threatening a goldfish with polluted waters to entice potential donors to take action.

Project Kaisei, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and clean up of marine debris, is doing something a little bit taboo with their latest fundraising campaign—they are threatening a goldfish with polluted waters to entice potential donors to take action. Their Facebook campaign, ‘Save Kai’, put a goldfish named Kai in a segregated space within an aquarium filled with plastic pollution.  Supporters are invited to make donations to have pieces of the plastic removed from the tank before Kai is released into the deadly “Plastic Vortex” at the end of the month.

Supporters are invited to watch Kai’s plight via a 24-hour webcam supported by LiveStream.  When someone makes a donation, a piece of plastic is removed from Kai’s tank.  The size of the donation relates to the size of plastic that is removed—a minimum $5 donation gets a bottle cap taken out of the aquarium while a $100 donation removes a large bottle.  According to a press release, “As donations increase, the plastic debris in the aquarium decreases, creating a safe and plastic-free environment for Kai to enjoy.  All proceeds from the campaign will go toward helping Project Kaisei fund scientific research and clean up expeditions,” bringing Kai’s example to the real world.

Co-founder of Project Kaisei, Doug Woodring, explains that, “During our 2010 expedition we were shocked to find plastic pieces floating on the surface of the water 1,000 miles offshore and in one of the most remote ecosystems on Earth.  With this campaign we want to help people around the world to understand the impact of plastic pollution in the ocean and rethink our use of materials that end up there as debris.”  Mary Crowley, Project Kaisei co-founder and Executive Director of Ocean Voyages Institute adds, “The ‘Save Kai’ campaign is a chance for us to get the public involved in healing our oceans and ensuring that Kai and other sea creatures get to live in a clean ocean environment.”

There’s something about seeing a poor, innocent goldfish swimming around right next to a bunch of plastic trash that opens your eyes to the dire need to clean up the oceans.  Kai is just one fish in a safe, controlled environment while there are millions of sea creatures endangered by plastic pollution for real.  Christianna Giordano from Cohn & Wolfe, the agency that developed this campaign, told me, “We have already received pledges to protect Kai and we are very close to our goal, so Kai will continue to live happily in a plastic free environment.”  However, it will take a lot more pledges to create a plastic free environment for the millions of other marine creatures in the ocean.

Christianna tells me that the campaign has seen a very positive response so far.  “As of June 23, total ‘likes’ on Facebook jumped 116 percent and our Twitter messages have reached nearly 4.5 million Twitter followers between our tweets and our followers’ tweets and retweets.”  The campaign was originally set to end on June 10, but “Ongoing donations and public support for Kai, not to mention a few significant shout-outs from Hollywood celebs, prompted the decision to extend the campaign.”

Check out Project Kaisei’s ‘Save Kai’ campaign on Facebook and let us know what you think.  What do you think about the idea of endangering a fish to spread the word about a cause?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.