Our ocean's health and biodiversity is threatened by climate change and overfishing; decimating marine species and putting food supplies, livelihoods, and entire communities at risk. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation focuses on improving understanding of sharks, rays, and coral reefs through academic research and applying that knowledge toward conservation efforts.
Protecting Sharks and Rays
An unsustainable number of sharks and rays are killed each year, contributing to the decline of many marine ecosystems. We support organizations working in shark and ray management, conservation, and research.
GlobalFinprint created the world's first global survey of shark density and diversity in coral reef ecosystems, and provided baseline data for conservation and protection effort across four regions. The Global FinPrint results discovered that sharks are functionally extinct on many of the world's coral reefs and identified conservation measures to support recovery.
The DNA Toolkit provides shipment inspectors with a quick, cost-effective, reliable method to test shark tissue samples and identify several CITES-listed sharks to help meet CITES obligations and reduce illegal trade.
Validating Environmental DNA for Sharks
This research compares and validates two emerging Environmental DNA (eDNA) methods to measure relative abundance and diversity of sharks and rays. This technique has the potential to significantly scale surveys of sharks and rays.
Shark Conservation Fund
We are a founding member of the Shark Conservation Fund (SCF). The investments from the SCF are being used to regulate and combat unsustainable trade of sharks and rays, and is assisting more than 65 countries as they implement CITES regulations, create new marine protected areas, expand endangered species listings, and assist fisheries to establish catch limits.
Saving The World's Coral Reefs
Half of the world’s coral reefs have died over the past 50 years, threatening both marine life and coastal communities and economies. We support innovative coral research and funding partnerships that elevate coral conservation efforts.
Assisted Gene Flow
This grant is helping researchers successfully crossbreed coral in a lab using frozen sperm. This is producing the world’s largest living wildlife population of pan-Caribbean coral crosses ever created from cryopreservation, validating it as an effective tool to boost genetic diversity and invigorate global coral populations.
Scientists funded by this grant are producing heat-resilient coral through breeding and conditioning techniques, a groundbreaking approach to cross-breeding coral that can survive warmer ocean temperatures. In the first five years, the project propagated corals that outperformed purebreds in simulated future ocean conditions.
Larval Restoration of Coral Reefs
This innovative restoration technique builds on work restoring degraded reefs in Australia and the Philippines using coral spawn and coral larvae. Scientists are conducting testing to determine if seaweed-dominated degraded reefs can recover by adding coral larvae. This can be in the form of newly settled corals fed with additional nutrients, or through an underwater remotely operated vehicle (LarvalBot) that can disperse millions of coral larvae to restore reefs.