Richard Branson: my dreams of the deep
- By Jack Preston -
- Oct 11, 2012
“The OceanElders is there to defend the oceans and the species in it. There’s a lot of issues that need confronting, for example shark finning is a big one at the moment. Over one and a half million sharks get killed each week just for their fins, we’re doing a lot of lobbying to try and get that banned,” the Virgin Group Founder told Bloomberg TV.
“We’ve very nearly finished building a [Virgin Oceanic] submarine to go to the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench, which is the deepest place in the Atlantic. Hopefully this will happen in the next few months. We try and make these sorts of adventures self-pay, I’m sure there’s a lot of other people who are interested in going down and exploring the oceans as well – so hopefully like space we can make it pay [as in the case of Virgin Galactic].”
“I’m no different to anyone else, we all dream. As a kid I‘d dream about climbing trees and rescuing cats, now I dream about getting to the bottom of the ocean and colonising Mars.”
Since the interview the OceanElders have experienced considerable success with their shark conservation work, with Branson yesterday revealing on his blog: "I’m delighted to say that as a result President Chinchilla has invited us to join her in Costa Rica in counter-signing a new Executive Decree that will forbid the importation, exportation or transportation of fins from sharks. In a nutshell, this stops all trade in finning in Costa Rica.”
Travelling to the bottom of the ocean, just like getting into space, comes with considerable risks – so how does Branson offset these? “Being an adventurer has a lot of similarities to being an entrepreneur, you’ve got to make sure you don’t get hurt too much, enough so that you’re able to survive at least.”
To watch the interview in full, head over to Bloomberg TV, where everything from space travel to banking is discussed along with the delights of the sea bed.