During this time of the year, many announcements regarding the involvement of co-founder of Microsoft into Shark week, rumors appear to be indeed true: Paul Allen joins the global FitPrint shark cause. After supporting the Great Elephant Census in the past, he is now intending to give money in order to save the shark population, which seems to be decreasing more and more.
Being one of the largest surveys designed to motorize shark activity within reef ecosystems, the FitPrint project will apparently be funded with an amount of almost $4million by Paul Allen and Vulcan Inc., who will be the main providers of database and necessary resources needed for the investigation.
Working along worldwide researchers, Paul Allen’s main goal of the project, implies building a powerful enough conservation program that, will not only seek to study the relationship between coral reefs, sharks and rays, but also to find an answer to why sharks represent an important asset for the life of reef ecosystems.
During the experiment led by Stony Brook University doctor Demian Chapman, a placing of baited underwater remote controlled surveillance or ‘ Bruvs’ in over 400 different locations of coral reef systems, will make it possible to observe the behavior of sharks.
Alike normal monitoring camera’s, Bruv’s , which consist of an actual fish bait and two more GoPro cameras, have been proved to not inflict any type of damage to the subjects.
By locating the devices within different parts of the sea line, as the Atlantic, African and even Indian Ocean Islands, researches can better examine how and what leads to the annihilation of sharks.
According to Chapman, Global Fitprint will only have the role of making ‘us better understand one of the ocean’s great mysteries’, and is highly believed that the three years that have already been invested into the cause, will not end just yet.
When asked why sharks play such an important role, Chapman simply replied that ‘sharks are apex predators, like the lions or tigers of wolves of the ocean’. Therefore, it is in their true nature to be carnivorous machines and, because of this, they are able to preserve the balance of their homes.
Based on the statement of FitPrint’s leader dr. Chapman, results show that almost a quarter of the reef shark population are facing extinction. Working for almost 20 years in the field, he asserts that, the shark’s role is indeed very important, as their position is believed to be critical for maintaining the balance within the food chain.
Taking into consideration the attention that sharks may seem to receive, mankind has always ended up either fearing or even taking part in the hunting of these aquatic creatures; other possible causes of death such as climate changes, pollution and fishing seem to have also affected their numbers. Thus, it is estimated that about each year, almost one million sharks end up being killed by humans.
As shark numbers continue to decline, Paul Allen and Vulcan Inc. members are hoping that FitPrint project will manage to spread awareness as fast as possible, over the issues that seem to plague sharks all around the world.
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