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Marine Life & Conservation

Calling all Ocean Heroes: Nominations open for Marine Conservation Society Young Ocean Optimist of the Year Award



The Marine Conservation Society is calling for nominations for its annual Young Ocean Optimist of the Year Award.

Now in its third year, the award seeks to recognise the achievements of passionate young people across the UK, making a difference for our ocean. The Marine Conservation Society is encouraging nominations for individuals who have made a positive contribution or effort to protect and celebrate the ocean in the past 12 months.

Whether they’re cleaning a local beach, raising awareness of amazing marine life, or sharing their passion through research, art, social media, writing, walking or more, the charity wants to hear about it.

The award consists of two categories – one for those under 12 years of age, and one for 13-18-year-olds. This year’s winners will be announced at the charity’s online Annual General Meeting on 17th of November.

The Marine Conservation Society engages with and encourages young people to become a voice for the ocean. Its Youth Ocean Network was established in March 2022 and has over 100 members across the UK aged between 13 and 25 who share a sense of ocean optimism and a passion for our seas. The charity aims to showcase and celebrate the enthusiasm of young people for the ocean through both this network and the Young Ocean Optimist of the Year Award.

Sandy Luk, CEO of the Marine Conservation Society said: We’re proud to work alongside so many passionate and inspiring young people across the country to protect, restore and celebrate our ocean and these awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise those who’ve gone above and beyond this year. Young people are the future – for us and for the planet. It’s extremely encouraging to see so many taking action and making a difference, and I’m really looking forward to hearing about young people who’ve used their creativity and ingenuity to help us protect our blue planet.”

Katie Macfarlane, Youth Engagement Office of the Marine Conservation Society said: “Young people today have endless passion, knowledge and drive to protect our natural world, and in my experience are incredibly innovative and solution focussed. It’s this optimism that inspires me to do what I do – I learn from the young people I meet every day and am consistently amazed by their dedication. I am really looking forward to hearing about a whole new cohort of Young Ocean Optimists via our 2022 awards.”

Links to short videos (under 5 minutes), audio recordings (under 2 minutes) and social media or online articles/blogs to support nominations are welcomed.

Nominations will be shortlisted by a panel of staff and volunteers at the Marine Conservation Society, using criteria such as the nature, impact and dedication of the nominee’s effortsThe top ten nominees will then be sent to the judging panel, which includes Sandy Luk, CEO of the Marine Conservation Society, and Gavin Stewart from the Scottish Youth Parliament.

The panel will then select the winner for each age category when they meet on 13th October. The winners will be announced live at the charity’s online AGM on the evening of Thursday 17th November 2022.

The deadline for nominations is Sunday 9th October. To nominate someone, head to and complete the nomination form.

Marine Life & Conservation

The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back!



The last week of July will see the return of the Shark Trust’s citizen science initiative that invites divers and snorkelers, all around the world, to record the sharks and rays that they see between the 22nd and 30th. After the success of the first event, this year is going to be even bigger and better.

Information about the species and numbers of sharks and rays the participants find over the week will be added to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log. This global shark census will, over time, allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes that occur. Sharks are threatened by destructive fishing, climate change and habitat loss. The data collected during the Great Shark Snapshot will help scientists put effective conservation plans in place.

Dive clubs, centres, and liveaboards can sign up to show their support for this event and advertise their planned dives on the Great Shark Snapshot registration page. Divers looking to join an event will be able to use the map to find Great Shark Snapshot dives taking place near them. As well as gathering vital data, the event will provide a chance to celebrate the incredible shark and ray species that live close to you.

Caroline Robertson-Brown, Marketing Coordinator at the Shark Trust said: “It was wonderful to see so many divers take part in our first event last year. What is even better is seeing those dive centres and liveaboards returning to take part again this year, along with many more signing up for the first time.”

With the event still 2 months away, dive centres and liveaboards from over 20 countries have already signed up to take part. From Palau to Costa Rica. From the UK to Australia. Whether you are diving your local dive site, or on the diving trip of a lifetime. You can take part in the Great Shark Snapshot.

It is easy to join in. Just go diving between 22nd and 30th July and record every shark, ray and skate that your dive group sees. If possible, take photos and some video footage too. The Shark Trust really wants to see what species you encounter on your dives. Then make sure that you record your sightings on the Shark Trust Shark Log recordings website or by using the Shark Trust app.

The Great Shark Snapshot is a way for divers to get together, go diving, and do something to help shark conservation. Why not dive in?

Find out more here:

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Gear News

Fourth Element now planting a tree for every online order



Global dive brand Fourth Element has announced the launch of their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, a commitment towards offsetting their carbon footprint and supporting environmental conservation through tree planting and mangrove restoration.

As a brand dedicated to sustainability and environmental conservation, Fourth Element has partnered with Ecologi, a leading platform for climate action, to plant a tree for every online order received. By working with Ecologi, Fourth Element ensures that the trees and mangroves planted are part of verified reforestation projects around the world that have a positive impact on local communities and biodiversity.

Trees play a crucial role in the health of our planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and providing oxygen, while also supporting biodiversity. In addition, mangroves, which grow in coastal areas, are essential in protecting our oceans and mitigating climate change. They absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and provide habitat for a wide range of marine life. However, both trees and mangroves are under threat from deforestation and development.

“Plant for the Planet” reflects Fourth Element’s commitment to taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and promoting sustainability in their business practices. By choosing to shop with Fourth Element, customers are also supporting the company’s efforts to protect the environment and promote positive change.

“We believe that it is our duty as a business to take action and make a positive impact on the planet,” said Paul Strike, CEO of Fourth Element. “Through our partnership with Ecologi and our ‘Plant for the Planet’ initiative, we are taking steps to offset our carbon footprint and support reforestation and mangrove restoration projects, which are critical for the health of our oceans and the planet as a whole.”

Fourth Element’s “Plant for the Planet” initiative is part of their ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. The company continues to explore ways to reduce their environmental footprint and promote responsible practices within the dive industry.

For more information about Fourth Element and their “Plant for the Planet” initiative, please visit

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