Cat-food brand SHEBA and Mars Sustainable Solutions selected Callum Hobbs — a marine biologist and ocean influencer from southern Wales — as the 2023 UK Hope Grows Advocate.
The 26-year-old teamed up with SHEBA this summer for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Indonesia to participate in the world’s largest coral restoration program: SHEBA Hope Grows.
After 10 days spent learning about the Mars Petcare and coral restoration team’s process to restore reefs, Hobbs put his newfound knowledge to the test. Together with five other Sheba Advocates selected from across the globe, Hobbs travelled to Indonesia’s Spermonde Archipelago. Once at Hope Reef, alongside the Bontosuan Island community and the MSS team, Hobbs spent two weeks experiencing the impact that a restored, healthy coral reef can have on the world around us and took part in the technical processes behind reef restoration.
Hope Reef was originally revealed to the world in 2021 with an iconic 14m by 46m (46ft by 151ft) spelling of the letters H-O-P-E using regrown coral, with satellite images revealing a beacon of hope visible from space. The reef has become a symbol that positive change to our oceans can happen in our lifetime.
Since its inception, coral growth has increased from 2% to 70%, fish populations have increased by 260% and there has been a 64% rise in the number of fish species.
Through blog posts and social media, Hobbs shared details about his involvement and the work that’s being completed to protect these precious habitats.
On that work, Hobbs said:
“I have always been passionate about the preservation and protection of the ocean, so when I had the opportunity to visit the iconic Hope Reef in person, I knew I had to do everything I could to get there and I was so happy when I got the call up. Working first hand with the local community, building and planting reef stars, and witnessing all the work that Sheba is doing, was truly life changing. Coral is a life source to so many beings, which is why seeing the impact and taking part in Sheba’s work was so inspiring. It showed me there is hope for our oceans and coral reefs, if we all act now, and that’s what I hope to show others too.”
For more info, go to shebahopegrows.com or check out the video below.