New species naming rights on the auction block
Do I hear a bid for naming the walking shark — the walking shark? Or the flasher wrasse, or the lionfish? Do I hear a bid? I’m looking for a bidder, a bidder who wants to name these fish. These new species have never been named — do I hear a new name, a new name, do I hear a bid for a new name? Sold! To the highest bidder.
Proceedings at the Blue Auction, to be held at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco, may sound something like this on September 20. Up for grabs are 12 lots that include naming rights for a number of new species discovered off the coasts of the Bird’s Head Seascape in Indonesia last year.
Described as "the most biodiverse marine area on the planet," the home of these new species — including a shark that "walks" on its pectoral fins — is in danger due to fishing practices involving dynamite and cyanide as well as pollution from nearby mining and logging activities.
In an effort to help raise money to protect this precious reef area, the Conservation International researchers who discovered the new species have nobly donated their naming rights. H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and celeb activist Bono will also be part of the event.
To learn more about this rich area of Indonesian reef, check out this month’s National Geographic magazine, including an audio slideshow online. I’m sure the images hardly do the area justice — and even still, I’m left speechless. See for yourself:
Images: David Doubilet, courtesy of National Geographic