It’s all about charisma

In 2007, when I started the South African Shark Conservancy, there were no organizations in South Africa conducting focused research on commercially fished and endemic shark species. At that time, it was my life goal to start my own research- and education-focused NGO so I seized the opportunity to develop a company that would focus on filling in scientific knowledge gaps and changing perceptions about sharks and their relatives, skates and rays.  Little did I know that funding such research – where we studied what are largely regarded as “less charismatic” sharks – would be incredibly difficult and, at times, almost financially impossible.