Sharks make everything cooler. Tornadoes become Sharknadoes. Seven sequential days become Shark Weeks. Katy Perry’s Super Bowl Halftime Shows become legendary. Now, racing is getting a shark boost, and it is great news for both humans and sharks alike.
Nova Southeastern University, the Guy Harvey Research Institute, and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation are sponsoring the Great Shark Race. Individuals or businesses that can afford the $5,000 entry fee will get to sponsor a shark in the race. All sponsors will get a custom Great Shark Race certificate with their shark’s name on it and limited edition artwork signed by Guy Harvey.
The grand prize is a fishing vacation for two people to Islamorada, Florida, but since the race is organized by people interested in preservation and research, the sharks will benefit the most from the event.
“We began this event a few years ago and the big focus was on tiger sharks, and have since moved on to makos and oceanic whitetips,” Antonio Fins, executive director at the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, tells New Times. “But some studies have shown that the oceanic whitetip population could be down 98 percent. This race is a way to get people involved and tag more sharks, which will provide invaluable in data for us.”
The data Nova and Guy Harvey are looking to get will give them more in-depth information on the sharks’ movement patterns to better manage and conserve them.
“We want to have some fun but even more importantly use the race to bring added awareness to the plight of these magnificent animals,” said Mahmood Shivji, PhD, professor at NSU’s Oceanographic Center and the director of GHRI. “It’s vital that we learn the migratory patterns and other aspects of these animals’ lives so we can ensure they survive and thrive for years to come.”
Sponsors can track their shark’s progress on the race’s website here, and the rest of the world can sit back and enjoy the inevitable summer blockbuster, Shark Race 3D. The Fast and the Furious team has to pull one last job, and this time, they are outrunning those smart sharks from Deep Blue Sea. Samuel L. Jackson can make a cameo as Russell Franklin’s long-lost twin brother, seeking revenge on the shark that ate his brother. Michael Bay can direct it. America wins.
Source: New Times Broward-Palm Beach