Ocean Kickstarter of the Month: Recycled Fishing Net Sunglasses

Yesterday on twitter, I discussed what I look for when assessing ocean-themed crowdfunding projects. Before I fund a crowdfunding campaign, I do quite a bit of due diligence, looking at the past success of the creators, the soundness of the project, and whether or not the goals, rewards, and timelines are reasonable. My criteria are:

1. Is it sound, reasonable, and informed by science?

2. Is there a clear goal, timeline, and budget; and are they partnering with the people who have experience hitting those marks?


3. Do some of the parties involved have a successful record with other crowdfunding projects and experience delivering on rewards.

It seems a shame to go through all that work and not pass it on to the rest of Team Ocean. Rather than keep it to myself (or, more likely, just tweet it out), once a month I’ll highlight my favorite ocean crowdfunding campaign. These campaigns are vetted in accordance with the above criteria, are likely to succeed, and are likely to result in a net positive for the ocean. Unsurprisingly, this month it’s the campaign that inspired this post:

The Ocean Collection – Recycled Fishing Net Sunglasses by Bureo 

Can we turn discarded fishing nets into something meaningful? This project is both simple and elegant. the ocean is filled with discarded fishing nets, most of which have decades left on their material usefulness. Nets are durable and malleable, so why not collect and reform these nets into something of value.

Is it sound, reasonable, and informed by science? Yes. Bureo has already demonstrated that recycled nets can be formed into usable products, discarded nets are a real problem and this is a reasonable solution which can have a measurable, if potentially only small and localized, impact. Plus, they have a vision for end-to-end recycling. Once your sunglasses reach the end of their useful life, you can send them back to the company to have them re-recycled. Read More

A huge thank you to all who helped make “Buy David Shiffman less ugly sunglasses” a success

Last month we crowdfunded an initiative to buy everyone’s favorite shark conservation superstar a new, less ugly pair of sunglasses. We blew our initial goal out of the water, raising nearly $2500 from almost 100 people. Amazing! Rewards are going out over the next few weeks (I’m mailing all the big teeth today. The smaller teeth are still need to be printed).

Without further ado, thank you to everyone who contributed: Michael Rollins, Haxley J Gomez Vigil, Samuel Sturdivant, Mario Rups, Donald J Orth, Patrick M Goff, Janet D Stemwedel, Thomas L Clancy III, John D Holden, Cara Mollenkopf, Laura A Troutman, Marie Schambeck, Katherine Nieman, Matthew Masterson, Erin B Schuster, Renellys C Perez, Sandra Prow, Allison Coffin, Karyn Traphagen, Debra Flaherty, Diane Wyse, Ruth-Decker Chaney, Julie Weber-Roark, Alex Maki-Jokela, Eric T Edgeworth, Steve Swensen, S J Smedbol, Bethann Mclaughlin, Colin Schultz, Andrea Hamilton, Robin Marwick, Brianne Miller, Rachel Dearborn, Evan Donahue, Nicholas W Kantola, Brittany Finucci, Robert S Heittman, Sarah D Keartes, Alison Hansen, Cara Mollenkopf, Ian Ramjohn, Patricia E Kight, Dawn Williams, Sandra P Wooten, Dr R L Jefferson, Kimberly A Ventre, Osama Tariq Siddiqui, David Lang, Derek K Burnett, Rachel Holland, Joshua N Silberg, Prosanta Chakrabarty, Mary Frances Starr, Renellys C Perez, Anthony Davidson, Bethany Dixon, and Gabrielle Zuckerman.

Thank you to all (including those who didn’t wish their names to be listed)! You’re contribution has made the world of shark conservation outreach one with slightly fewer ugly, ugly, just horrible, sunglasses.

David will update us on his new ocular acquisition as is happens.

David Shiffman wears ugly sunglasses. We need to fix that. For the sharks.

David is a legend in the online ocean conservation world, but that doesn’t mean he’s a legend of style. Everywhere, in every picture, he wears these:

Just terrible.

Just terrible.

Let’s be clear: these sunglasses, if you can even call a second pair of glasses worn over his normal glasses that, are ugly. Really ugly. Distractingly ugly. In an non-parametric, multivariate analysis of his outreach effort, David is 7% less effective* at disseminating ocean content than he should be, given his follower base and content stream. I believe that the majority of this deficit can be directly attributed to his sunglasses.

It’s time to change that.

Buy David Shiffman a less ugly pair of sunglasses.


David Shiffman has spent his life saving sharks. Isn’t it time he did so in style? I think so. And I hope you do too. Let’s buy him some sunglasses that reflect how cool his shark conservation work really is. Support our efforts to buy David less ugly sunglasses on Indiegogo.

Read More