Positive Change for Marine Life: Empowering Communities in India

By Chuffed.org Team


2nd November '17

Karl Goodsell, Founder of Positive Change for Marine Life

''Before 2009, I was an average performer in high school, attempted 5 degrees and completed none and I was never able to hold down a job for longer than 3 months. On paper and in a conventional sense, I wasn't destined for "success".

After some soul searching and working abroad on a number of life-changing volunteer projects, I decided to attempt my 6th degree in 2009, Marine Science & Management. Very rapidly, through the course of chance meetings and putting myself out there, I became involved in dolphin research as well as activism with a pretty hardcore marine conservation organisation in northern NSW, Australia. As the years went by I found myself meeting incredible people, working on some inspiring campaigns and loving my new degree.

As the opportunities and travel continued to increase, a growing realisation that my initial thoughts of activism weren't all that: they were cracked up to be started to niggle away at me. After a shocking experience with some foreign activists in a remote fishing village in Asia, I decided to start a facebook page aimed at promoting positive alternatives to unsustainable marine industries that benefited the ocean, as well as the community who relied upon it for survival. The page raised over $5,000 in just a few weeks!

Upon returning to Australia a year later in 2012 Positive Change for Marine Life was born, armed only with an idea and $100 in our bank account with a logo that some friends and I came up with. I really had no clue of how to run a non-profit-organisation, let alone how the organisation would develop strategies and campaigns, attract community support or raise the funds to be able to create the change so desperately needed.

I finished my degree, worked in various research and non-profit positions and kept the organisation going outside of my other full-time positions. It's been a tough slog. However PCFML has grown by over 1200% in the last 3 years alone and I can finally see that all of our hard work over the years is beginning to pay off. We've run 7 campaigns around the world since we formed in 2012 with our Marine Conservation Masterplan in India, which was the biggest to date. Where it is the first international project that will have a full time presence on the ground in the country.

So, how did we get to India?

A desire for a global partner in a developing country, remembering an inspiring short documentary watched five years ago on youtube, an e-mail, a skype meeting and a trip to India…that's all the space I have, but the story is definitely a serendipitous one and a reminder to never give up on your dreams!
3 Days ago, over the course of 24 hours, we have raised an additional $14,000 to help our campaign reach its goal from a $4 ask! We're now sitting at just $3,000 short of our $25,000 target! I'd really appreciate your support to get us there!"

To find out more about Positive Change for Marine Life, check out their successful crowdfunding campaign page below: