Earlier this month, the Guardian reports, a 300-foot yacht, owned by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, tore up about 14,000 square feet of coral reef in the Cayman Islands—about 80 percent of a protected area in the West Bay replenishment zone.
Allen, who is worth around $18.1 billion, will have to pay a $600,000 fine for damage caused by the anchor chain on his boat, the MV Tatoosh. “When [the MV Tatoosh] crew was alerted by a diver that her anchor chain may have impacted coral in the area, the crew promptly, and on their own accord, relocated their position to ensure the reef was protected,” Allen’s investment firm, Vulcan, said in a statement.
Ironically enough, in 2013, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced that it would begin making grants to organizations working to promote ocean health:
Still in the early stages, we are developing an ocean-focused program to explore ways to preserve and enhance one of earth’s most important resources, and the vast amounts of plant and animal life that call it home.
A year later, according to Inside Philanthropy, Allen gave $2.6 million to the University of British Columbia’s Sea Around Us program, which compiles data on fishing’s environmental impact in Africa and Asia, and FishBase, which is a database of fish.
As it happens, local officials said that Allen may not have been on board the MV Tatoosh at all—which would make sense, as he reportedly “hates the sound of the ocean.”