Augmented Island Studios and Conservation International Hawaiʻi Launch Augmented Reality Experiences to Raise Awareness About Invasive Fish Species, the Ta‘ape

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The bluestripe snapper, or Ta‘ape, can be quickly identified by its striking electric blue stripes contrasted with lemon-yellow skin, making it a stunning tropical fish. Don’t let its good looks fool you though, the Taʻape are considered an invasive species in Hawaiʻi. Taʻape naturally school in the hundreds and even thousands, and compete with native species while causing economic loss for local fishers.

Conservation International Augmented Reality by Augmented Island Studios

“Using augmented reality to help such an important cause is very meaningful to us. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a direct and positive impact on the Hawaiian ecosystem with the use of technology", said Augmented Island Studio’s CEO, Enrique Sanchez-Rivera.

The bluestripe snapper, or Ta‘ape, can be quickly identified by its striking electric blue stripes contrasted with lemon-yellow skin, making it a stunning tropical fish. Don’t let its good looks fool you though, the Taʻape are considered an invasive species in Hawaiʻi. Taʻape naturally school in the hundreds and even thousands, and compete with native species while causing economic loss for local fishers.

Taʻape were first introduced to the eastern shores of the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi more than six decades ago from the South Pacific. Originally intended to provide additional fishing opportunities and food sources for Hawaiʻi, Taʻape quickly became established and now spread across the 1,500-mile Hawaiian archipelago. Conservation International Hawaiʻi and local partners are launching a campaign to show how smart choices in seafood harvesting and consumption can benefit everyone, including Nature. Consumers are seeing that they can eat a tasty meal while supporting the local economy, improving island food security, and removing an invasive species. It’s a win, win, win.

“Taʻape have proliferated in Hawaiʻi for over 60 years, yet we haven’t found a solution for reducing their populations. If Taʻape are thriving and are here to stay, we have a tremendous opportunity to address multiple needs of society and the environment by increasing the sustainable harvest of these species,” said Jhana Young of Conservation International’s Hawaiʻi team.

Conservation International Hawaiʻi partnered with Portland, Oregon augmented and virtual reality studio, Augmented Island Studios, to develop two augmented reality experiences designed to raise awareness about this urgent situation:

1. When visiting the Ta‘ape informational website at: https://www.conservation.org/stories/what-is-the-taape, you will have the ability to see an animated 3D model of the fish, which can be launched in augmented reality by double tapping on the cube icon. In a matter of seconds, the fish comes to life right in your environment, and you have the ability to see it from every angle and read important notes about it.

2. The second experience can be launched right off of the Conservation International Hawaiʻi Instagram account at: @ci_hawaii (https://www.instagram.com/ci_hawaii/). When you arrive on their gallery, tap the face filter icon, which sits between the Instagram tv and tag icons on the gallery’s horizontal menu bar. Once you are there, tap on the Ta‘ape filter. The fun begins when you realize you must open your mouth to eat as many fish as you can!

“Using augmented reality to help such an important cause is very meaningful to us. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a direct and positive impact on the Hawaiian ecosystem with the use of technology. When Conservation International’s Niquole Esters and Matthew Ramsey educated us on how the local fishing community, culinary community, and oceans could benefit by eating more invasive Taʻape, we immediately went to work. Conservation International had planned a brilliant campaign around promoting this fish through the seafood supply chain, and our AR idea fit perfectly into their plan,” said Augmented Island Studio’s CEO, Enrique Sanchez-Rivera.

About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Conservation International Hawai’i:

Conservation International’s Hawaiʻi Program works across the Main Hawaiian islands to restore nearshore seafood security through strategic partnerships and focused investment for the well-being of Hawai'i and its people. Conservation International Hawaiʻi partners with local fishing communities, businesses, non-profit organizations and the State of Hawai'i to facilitate the sustainable management of Hawai'i's nearshore fisheries.

Web: http://www.conservation.org/hawaii
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CI.Hawaii
Instagram: @CI_Hawaii

Augmented Island Studios is a LatinX owned augmented and virtual reality creative development studio based in Portland, Oregon.
Web: http://www.augmentedislandstudios.com
Instagram: @augmentedislandstudios

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