Normally during this time of the year we’re being scared into paranoia by what the media delivers us of sharks and how they are merciless killers, but this year, we have a new spotlight during Shark Week: Global FinPrint is now backed by Paul Allen of Microsoft.
The co-creator of Windows has taken to Twitter to announce his charity’s investment in Global FinPrint, a company which surveys the sharks of the world with the intention of studying the impact of its constant diminishing numbers.
Paul Allen’s statement said that after his backing of the elephants’ cause in the past, he will now focus on Global FinPrint, and give them the money necessary to “#savesharks.”
Vulcan Inc., the private investment company owned by Microsoft’s co-founder was also one who started the Great Elephant Census project to combat the dwindling elephant population of Africa.
The Global FinPrint investment goes up to $4 million. The shark survey to be conducted by the initiative will contribute with key data to the rising matter of the shark extinction. It may seem like there never was a problem with sharks, and that sharks usually have a problem with humans, but the numbers show it’s always been the other way around.
Close to one million sharks are killed annually by humans. Accidentally, or for sport.
And this is not counting those sharks which die indirectly, from pollution or climate change. By contrast, five humans die annually at the jaws of sharks.
Dune Ives, the senior philanthropy director at Vulcan, says that the main goal of the project is to help provide research, as there are too few definite and reliable studies on the matter.
The shark researcher who will lead the project, Damian Chapman, who has been in the field for nearly 20 years, maintains that sharks are very important to the seas due to their position in the food chain. Being on top, he believes they help keep the balance, and their disappearance would prove disastrous, throwing the entire underwater ecosystem into chaos.
The survey has already set up video capturing devices attached to bait in the Bahamas and in Belize. Chapman believes there will be interesting results in the former, since commercial shark fishing has been outlawed in the islands some twenty years ago.
The goal of Global FinPrint is to survey over 400 distinct locations pertaining to the Indian Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean, the western, tropical part of the Atlantic, and islands of the eastern coast of Africa.
As Shark Week begins, the companies hope to spread awareness over the problems that sharks are facing throughout the world.
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