Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft is blamed for plowing through 1400 feet of protected reef in the Cayman Islands. Sadly, a vast majority of the reef is now destroyed, with some estimates suggesting that there is only 20% of it left. Now, Paul Allen, who is worth roughly $17.4 billion may be fined up to $600,000 or face up to 4 years in prison. The vessel could also be seized by the government.
Paul Allen’s super yacht is worth $160 million and is 300 ft, according to the officials.
The deputy director of research and Department of the Environment stated that damaging coral could be prosecuted as a crime under the Cayman Island National Conservation laws. This incident is also an embarrassment for Allen as he considers himself a conservationist.
Allen’s investment firm Vulcan said in a recent statement that said, “The diver alerted the crew that the anchor chain may have blown the carol, and the crew fastly ensured their position to be careful that the reef was undamaged, and the crew is very co-operative with the officials.” In addition, Vulcan also said that the issue has been “greatly exaggerated”.
The spokesman also refused to say whether or not Allen was on the yacht at the time of the incident.
Allen’s spokesman said that “Allen is a global leader and he is a great philanthropist. He supported cutting-edge research to restore coral reefs.”
An investigation is being carried out by the Department of the Environment which will look at both Allen’s crew the Cayman Island’s Port Authority. Allen’s crew claims that the Port Authority was directing them as they were traveling in the area of the reef. The port authority has yet to comment on their role in the incident.
A spokesperson for the department said that “We are estimating the damage and the cause of damage. Besides that, we are also trying to learn the lessons to prevent these type of incidents again in the future.
Similar incidents have happened in past in the Cayman Island, as large yachts plowed through the reef. In 2014, Carnival Cruise had to donate a large sum of money because their cruise ship damaged George Town harbor. A few years before that, Zenith, which is owned by the Spain-based shipping company pullmanter destroyed the coral reef in the area as well. However, in that case, there were no fines or penalties imposed.
As we reported yesterday, there is actually some new hope for the world’s dying coral reefs.
New research has shown that for the first time ever coral can be grown in a lab and reintroduced into the wild.
Coral reefs provide a habitat for almost all forms of life such as fish, shellfish, seaweed, reptiles, bacteria and fungi. The coral reef is covered with life and all forms of life have a special role to play. The organisms live in a delicate balance, and despite covering less that.2 percent of the total surface area of the oceans, coral reefs are noted for some of the highest levels of productivity оf thе еаrth аnd рrоvіdе thе 25% оf mаrіnе аnіmаls оf аll sресіеs.
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