Updated: Sep 4, 2020
Meet Eric Nadon, Aquatic Sciences and Development Coordinator for Fluval Aquatics. Fluval Aquatics is an aquarium supply company that made its name by launching the world's first 3-stage filter with synchronous motor technology.
Eric Nadon, Sciences and Development Coordinator at Fluval Aquatics, with his team. © Eric Nadon
They carry a legacy of pioneering spirit, developing cutting-edge, innovative aquarium products, and setting a high bar in quality, style, and functionality.
Fluval prides itself on its charitable and educational efforts that give back to the fish-keeping community, from supporting the protection of wild coral reefs to documenting endangered fish species halfway around the world.
Eric Nadon peers out over the ocean. © Eric Nadon
As one of our corporate sponsors, Fluval Aquatics helps support our mission to restore Florida's Coral Reef. Their continued support actually spans back to when CRF™ was a relatively new organization. We've also had the pleasure of welcoming the Fluval team to the Keys during past visits!
Continue reading to learn more about Fluval Aquatics and Eric's personal connection to our marine world.
What is your earliest memory of the ocean?
My family and I visited Virginia Beach when I was very young, but I don’t remember much from that trip. When I was a bit older, we visited Daytona Beach, in Florida. I remember spending hours playing in the waves, being pushed around and knocked over by their force.
What is your favorite marine creature?
That’s a hard one! Sharks would be my first thought - they’re incredible, gorgeous animals, and as someone who keeps both snakes and spiders as pets, I’m familiar with the public’s misplaced fear of them. Of the fish I’ve had the chance to work with, the Ocellaris clownfish would probably be my favorite - they’re beautiful, full of character, and most importantly, easily bred in captivity.
Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so, where, and how did it make you feel?
I had the opportunity to spend two weeks at the Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University in Holetown, Barbados. Most of my time was spent at the Folkestone Marine Park, performing various experiments and sampling. It was an incredible experience; the reef’s inhabitants were abundant and diverse, thriving in the protected area. I was lucky enough to see stingrays, sea turtles, cuttlefish, moray eels, beautiful adult parrotfish, and so much more!
Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel?
I’ve been to resorts in Cuba a few times, some of which had some pretty good snorkeling spots accessible from the beach. Each time, the areas were littered with trash - plastic cups, beer cans, plastic bags, etc. It’s so upsetting to me - it’s so easy to not litter, and we know the repercussions of plastic waste on marine life, and yet people don’t seem to care enough to stop.
What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?
The impacts it will have on every other animal on this planet. Humans have created this problem, we’ve gotten ourselves into this mess, and now we’re starting to really pay the price for it. Every other animal that’s out there, however, doesn’t deserve the same fate.
Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?
As a biologist: because they are beautiful, incredibly diverse, crucially important environments. The extent and the severity of the devastation large-scale coral reef loss will have on our planet is extraordinary. As a hobbyist, having kept some of these animals in aquariums, witnessing them in their natural habitats is an incredible, precious opportunity. I’ve dreamed of diving in reefs around the world, and I don’t want to lose that chance!
Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?
As a manufacturer and distributor of aquarium products, Fluval draws its inspiration from aquatic habitats around the world, including coral reef ecosystems. We are fundamentally connected to these environments via livestock importers, who provide the public with animals to keep in our aquariums. This process must be done sustainably, and as such coral reefs must be protected and restored - if they are lost, the aquarium hobby as a whole will be lost with it.
Why should the average person care about coral reefs?
If the lives of millions of animals aren’t motivation enough, coral reefs provide a number of important ecosystem services: the tourism industry, which in some cases represents the vast majority of a country’s GDP, various fisheries, and coastline protection, as coral reefs absorb enormous amounts of wave energy and protect the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.
In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs?
The importance of images and videos in creating public awareness can’t be understated. The giant panda, one single species, receives incredible amounts of funding for conservation efforts each year because it’s adorable, and watching one video of them melts your heart and makes you want to help protect them. We have to find ways to create the same kind of public awareness and concern for coral reef ecosystems! The aquarium hobby can be helpful as well! If someone has a saltwater aquarium at home, they are much more likely to understand the pressures coral reefs face, to care about the animals which inhabit coral reefs, and to get involved to help protect them.
What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?
The biggest hurdle to overcome is the mindset that “I’m only one person, what I do doesn’t really matter”. That’s just not true! Shop locally to reduce the amount of materials that are shipping around the world. Walk and bike more, instead of driving. Consume less. Donate to reef conservation organizations. The list goes on!
Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why?
Only if things change, and quickly. The management of the global climate crisis must become the top priority for every government around the world, and coral reefs must be protected in MPAs as soon as possible. The situation is admittedly grim, but with a unified, global effort, and the implementation of new technologies, we have no choice but to hope we can overcome it.