As ocean’s apex predators, elasmobranchs are a very popular group in zoos and public aquariums. Since 30% of these species are threatened, there is a need within the zoo and public aquarium community to create a Regional Collection Plan (RCP) to coordinate the elasmobranch populations under human care. In 2011, Royal Burgers’ Zoo decided to change the Institutional Collection Plan (ICP) and stopped getting any sharks or rays directly from the wild. This study presents the potential and challenges of this approach. Although this study shows it to be a feasible approach for one public aquarium, implementing this ICP criterion in multiple public aquariums will require an increase in breeding efforts. There may also remain a need to collect animals from the wild as part of a conservation programme on threatened species or to increase the number of founders in a breeding programme.
Many believe that because we are so small, we must be utterly insignificant on the cosmic scale. But whether this is so depends on what it takes to be important. On one view, what matters for importance is the difference to value that something makes. On this view, what determines our cosmic importance is not our size, but what else of value is out there. But a rival view also seems plausible: that importance requires sufficient causal impact on the relevant scale; since we have no such impact on the grand scale, that would entail our cosmic insignificance. I argue that despite appearances, causal impact is neither necessary nor sufficient for importance. All that matters is impact on value. Since parts can have non-causal impact on the value of the wholes that contain them, this means that we might have great impact on the grandest scale without ever leaving our little planet.