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Marine Life & Conservation

Cristina Zenato joins Bite-Back’s Media Campaign

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Globally respected shark diver and conservationist Cristina Zenato has become the latest high profile supporter of Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation’s Mind Your Language campaign, calling on the media to stop demonising sharks and only accurately report shark stories. Cristina Zenato now joins Steve Backshall MBE, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Wendy Benchley (widow of JAWS author, Peter) as ambassadors of the charity’s campaign.

Best known for her pioneering work with Caribbean Reef sharks in the Bahamas, including the frequent removal of fishing hooks from their mouths, Cristina Zenato has used her social media channels to speak out about how the media’s constant portrayal of sharks as ‘deadly’, ‘menacing’, ‘blood-thirsty beasts’ has conditioned the public to fear sharks rather than admire them. Like Bite-Back, Cristina Zenato believes that this learned mind-set stands in the way of important and urgent shark conservation efforts.

Photo: Kewin Lorenzen

Cristina Zenato said: “For many people their only experience of sharks is in the movies, newspaper headlines and news reports. Words like ‘monster’, ‘killer’ and ‘man-eater’ are clichés and serve only to perpetuate a myth; a myth that needs to be exposed and set right. My daily experience with sharks is so far removed from these sensational headlines that I’m happy to give Bite-Back’s campaign my full support.”

Since it launched its Media Guidelines for Reporting Shark Encounters in 2019, Bite-Back says it’s noticed evidence of a positive shift in the way some media describe sharks but acknowledge that ‘there’s still a mountain to climb’.

Together with its ambassadors Bite-Back uses its Media Guidelines to educate and encourage media outlets to only factually report shark encounters and regularly exposes sensational and ‘killer’ headlines as harmful ‘click bait’.

Campaign director at Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “We can’t let the media go on describing sharks as monsters and expect people to love them. That’s why we’re excited to enrol Cristina to help us challenge the way the media reports shark encounters. Her passion for sharks is infectious and her voice has reach and authority. She’s a perfect ambassador for this campaign.”

Cristina Zenato’s work with sharks in the Bahamas is set to feature in the forthcoming TV series SHARKS with Steve Backshall on the Discovery Channel this autumn.

Find out more about Cristina Zenato at www.cristinazenato.com and learn how you can support Bite-Back’s campaigns at www.bite-back.com.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Save Our Seas Foundation announce Ocean Storytelling Photography Grant

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Stories spark the imagination and nurture ideas. They are, without doubt, our most powerful form of communicating and connecting, both with each other and with the world around us.
The Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) have a strong history of supporting marine conservation and education projects and believe that to truly translate knowledge into effective, meaningful change we must communicate through engaging stories. An inspiring or compelling story can spur positive action in ways that no presentation of facts can.

SOSF are delighted to introduce their new emerging Ocean Storyteller Grants, which will focus on photography in its inaugural year. The photography grant is led by our own director of storytelling and National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak, in collaboration with Kathy Moran and Jennifer Samuel from National Geographic.

While they are looking specifically for photographers who can tell conservation stories about our oceans, the call is not limited to underwater photography. Applicants should think broadly – story topics can range from the animals themselves to fisheries or the communities whose lives are intertwined with marine life. Four successful grantees will each receive a fully funded assignment to shoot a conservation photo story on location (including day rate and travel), under the direct mentorship of the Ocean Storytelling Grant team.

To learn more about the grant and application process click here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Dive Project Cornwall and PADI partner to educate the next generation of Ocean Torchbearers

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Dive Project Cornwall’s vision is simple – eliminate plastic pollution and protect the marine environment to save all life in our oceans for future generations to enjoy and cherish. 

“We are delighted to be working with PADI as a key partner to deliver Dive Project Cornwall, a new not-for-profit community interest organsiation,” says Andy Forster, Project Director of Dive Project Cornwall. “For a long time, I have considered it should be the right of every child to walk on a beach and feel the sand between their toes. Dive Project Cornwall aims to give young people that experience and take it one step further: giving them sight of the amazing underwater world. 

Through their own appreciation of the wonders of the marine environment, we inspire thought as to how we will look after our beaches and oceans and preserve them for future generations to enjoy. The success of this lies in educating hundreds of thousands of young people today, and we are delighted to be able to launch a comprehensive introduction to the ocean and marine conservation for young people and adults alike, in the form of Dive Project Cornwall.”

The plight of our world’s oceans is well documented, and through its global network of torchbearers, PADI® is committed to playing a prominent role in taking action to heal the planet, shining a light on what’s possible, and leading communities towards a sustainable future. The collaboration between PADI and Dive Project Cornwall brings this shared ocean conservation mission to life. 

Dive Project Cornwall will educate hundreds of thousands of young people by delivering an education programme directly into schools across the UK, raising the awareness of the importance of the planet’s marine environment and its vital role in our very existence.

At the heart of Dive Project Cornwall is a competition for 400 lucky teenagers to win the experience of a lifetime; a 6-day, life-changing trip to Cornwall where they will learn to scuba dive, enjoy outdoor adventures, take up beach-related activities and attend presentations from leading marine industry experts. The aim is for these teenagers to become PADI Open Water Divers and PADI Torchbearers – ocean influencers who positively engage, inspire and motivate the next generation to save our planet.

PADI is delighted to partner with Dive Project Cornwall to provide the 400 winning students with PADI Open Water Diver eLearning. PADI Dive Centres in Cornwall will work with the students to complete their in-water training and PADI certification. Scuba diving opens up the underwater world for young people and helps them to develop an understanding and appreciation for it, inspiring them to want to explore and protect it.

“Saving the ocean requires all of us to act together, and it’s crucial that we engage the younger generation in this work. Partnering with Dive Project Cornwall enables PADI to deliver such an important project, educating young people in the UK on the far-reaching impact that local action can have,” said Rich Somerset, Territory Director, PADI EMEA.

Dive Project Cornwall are currently looking for sponsors, media partners and collaborating charities to build the project to formal launch across the UK in January 2022. To find out more and get involved visit www.diveprojectcornwall.co.uk or email Andy Forster andy@diveprojectcornwall.co.uk

“We look forward to working with PADI and all of our sponsors (those already on board and those to come) to positively engage, inspire and motivate the next generation to save our planet,” says Forster.

For more info visit www.diveprojectcornwall.co.uk or www.padi.com

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Egypt | El Gouna | 10 – 17 November 2021 | Reefs & Wrecks staying at the Three Corners Ocean View Hotel

Set in the Abu Tig Marina, this all-inclusive, adults only, resort features 2 outdoor pools overlooking the clear waters of the Red Sea

Stylishly modern yet giving traditional services, this hotel is cleverly designed to be almost surrounded by the sea with a fabulous poolside terrace. There is a choice of restaurants and bars and a health club. Diving is with the renowned Emperor Divers

Price from just £845 per person based on sharing a twin room including:

  • Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in twin/double standard room
  • Bed & breakfast meal plan
  • 5 days’ 2 tank boat diving with Emperor Divers, guide, 12ltr tank & weights
  • All Transfers

*Marine Park Fees and extras payable locally

Subject to availability.

Email info@diversetravel.co.uk to find out more!

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