Saturday, September 22, 2007

Naming rights for 10 fish species sold for $2 million

This sounds like crass commercializing, but it's for a good cause.

Auction to Name Fish Species Nets $2 Million for Conservation

An auction of rights to name 10 newly discovered species of fish raised more than $2 million for conservation efforts in eastern Indonesia on Thursday night, setting a record for an event of its type.

The black-tie soiree, hosted by Prince Albert II and sponsored by Conservation International and the Monaco-Asia Society, featured species found last year in the Bird's Head Seascape, an area in the northwest corner of Indonesian Papua. Prices for the naming rights ranged from $500,000 for a Hemiscyllium shark from Cendrawasih Bay to $50,000 for the Pseudanthias fairy basslet. The identities of the winning bidders, and the names they chose, were not immediately disclosed.

I am of two minds over this. On the one hand, I must admit that I find the idea of buying the rights to naming animals somewhat repulsive. On the other hand, I realize how much good $2 million will do for conservation. And I am sure that the naming of animals take into consideration any sponsors an expedition have (much like geographical naming did in old days).

One good thing is that the bidders "had to pledge that they would name the species after people rather than corporate entities."

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