Walt Smith, ADE Project Fiji

Walt Smith

Founder, Managing Director, Board Member

Walt is credited as one of the original pioneers in commercial, large scale coral farming. Through trial and error attempts (based on his theory) he designed a method of using specially designed “pegs” held on racks in shallow depths where coral fragments could be successfully planted and grown for the worldwide aquarium trade and reef rehabilitation efforts where needed. His unique method allowed his team to fragment and grow more than 40,000 new corals annually from 1998 until today.

His original design is now copied throughout the world on many sites where this work is being carried out by various groups and NGO’s.

In 2011, Walt decided it was time to expand his technique on a much larger scale to benefit the local economy and the surrounding environment. By training local villagers on the northern islands of Fiji to carry out this work in their fishing areas and supporting them with the infrastructure, he could pay them for the coral they grew though partial sales to his trade while the majority was replanted on nearby damaged reefs.

In 2014, Walt registered the nonprofit organization Aquaculture Development for the Environment (A.D.E.) in the USA and Fiji, allowing them to attract additional outside funding for the project and enable its growth into multiple regions throughout Fiji to provide benefit to the local economy and increased habitat for the environment.