Co-founded by Nishan Perera and Daniel Fernando, Blue Resources Trust (BRT) is a marine research and consultancy organisation based in Sri Lanka. Perera is a marine biologist and photographer. Fernando is a member of Sri Lanka’s official delegations to CITES and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.
Blue Resources Trust says that its experience and expertise comes from conducting marine research projects and conservation initiatives within Sri Lankan and international waters. Fernando says that one of his core motivations for launching BRT was to improve national and global protections for sharks and rays.
Blue Resources Trust’s funding is not transparent. But it declares that Tokyo Cement Group funds its coral reef research and conservation project in Sri Lanka. It also says that it partners with a wide range of NGOs and institutions. These include the UK-based The Manta Trust (TMT), for which Fernando is an Associate Director and BRT is listed as one of its affiliate partners. TMT is funded by Save our Seas Foundation, which in turn was founded and is still funded by His Excellency Abdulmohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh from Saudi Arabia. BRT also says it is funded by Global FinPrint, a Paul G. Allen initiative, which deploys baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) to record sharks, rays and other sea life on coral reefs, to help plan where to establish no-take marine protected areas.
At CITES’ CoP-18, BRT lent its support to a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) contribution from the floor that expressed opposition to the contents of document CoP18 Inf. 8 (which called on CITES to reframe from listing more marine species, pending a full-scale review of the efficacy of the existing listings). This contribution was also made by WWF in the name of the Animal Welfare Institute, Centre for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society International (HSI), Natural Resources Defense Council, OCEANA Inc. and Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
Nishan Perera and Daniel Fernando