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Join Fins Attached and Dr. Sylvia Earle for a shark & turtle research expedition to Cocos Island

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Every so often opportunities come up that you just can’t say no to. Here is one of those moments. Fins Attached has partnered with Mission Blue and the Dr. Sylvia Earle Alliance to conduct an extraordinary expedition to Cocos Island Costa Rica. However, the trip is only open to eight people, four Mission Blue donors and four Fins Attached donors. You need to contact Fins Attached as soon as possible to get your name on the list for this small and intimate group experience.

You will be a part of an expedition that is hosted by:

  • Dr. Sylvia Earle
  • Dr. Alex Antoniou
  • Randall Arauz
  • Kip Evans

Dr. Sylvia Earle

sylvia earleDr. Sylvia A. Earle is Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society, Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) / Mission Blue, Founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research Inc. (DOER), Chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute and former Chief Scientist of NOAA. Author of more than 200 publications and leader of more than 100 expeditions with over 7,000 hours underwater, Dr. Earle is agraduate of Florida State University with M.A. and PhD degrees from Duke University and 27 honorary doctorates. Her research concerns the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems and development of technology for access to the deep sea. She is the subject of the Emmy®Award Winning Netflix documentary, Mission Blue, and the recipient of more than 100 national and international honors and awards including being named Time Magazine’s first Hero for the Planet, a Living Legend by the Library of Congress, 2014 UNEP Champion of the Earth, Glamour Magazine’s 2014 Woman of the Year, member of the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark,and winner of the 2009 TED Prize, the Walter Cronkite Award, the 1996 Explorers Club Medal, the Royal Geographic Society 2011 Patron’s Medal, and the National Geographic 2013 Hubbard Medal.

Randall Arauz

Randall ArauzRandall is the founder and president of PRETOMA, a Costa Rican non-profit NGO founded in 1997. Randall was the 2010 recipient of The Goldman Environmental Prize. PRETOMA is a marine conservation and research organization working to protect ocean resources and promote sustainable fisheries policies in Costa Rica and Central America.

Costa Rica has an image as a conservationist country. Indeed there are many positive laws and regulations on paper in Costa Rica. However, marine conservation is far behind land conservation, and furthermore, many of the positive laws and regulations that do exist go unenforced.

As a result, Randall and PRETOMA directs their efforts in the following categories:

  • Direct in the field conservation projects
  • Research and outreach onboard commercial fishing vessels
  • Public awareness and education
  • Litigation and policy advocacy

Kip Evans

Kip EvansFor more than two decades Kip has been exploring the ocean and guiding conservation efforts through his documentary photography projects. He has participated in or led over fifty expeditions throughout the world including recent explorations in Alaska, Cuba, Costa Rica, Chagos, and Chile. Working on a number of National Geographic Society projects including the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, he served as the chief photographer for noted oceanographer and marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle. In 2008, Kip joined Mission Blue as the Director of Photography and Expeditions, documenting “hope spots,” critical areas around the world’s ocean that need protection. As a diver and submersible pilot, Kip holds a number of certifications and spent 17 days living underwater at the Aquarius Habitat as part of Mission 31. Kip graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara where he studied environmental studies marine biology.

Alex Antoniou

Alex AntoniouDr. Alex Antoniou has been working with and studying sharks for over 20 years. In 2010 Alex founded Fins Attached: Marine Research and Conservation, a non-profit organization based in Colorado Springs.

He began his work by establishing a field station for the Shark Research Institute in the Honduran Bay Island of Utila and subsequently convinced the Honduran Government to enact protection laws for the whale shark in their territorial waters. From Honduras, Alex moved on to study sharks in Mexico and the Galapagos Islands, and Cocos Island, Costa Rica. This research is ongoing with with Randall and PRETOMA in Costa Rica.

Dr. Antoniou also works with Dr. Maurcio Hoyos in Mexico. In 2008 he helped to tag white sharks with acoustic transmitters and also helped deploy acoustic receivers for data collection. The work in Mexico also includes the tagging of sharks at the Revillagigedo Islands.

To find out more about the trip and how you can reserve a place email alex@finsattached.org.

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Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.


Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)

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Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.


Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.


For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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