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Sharks4Kids

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Sharks4Kids

Sharks4KidsOn a recent trip to Bimini, in the Bahamas, we had the chance to meet Jillian and Duncan. They are talented underwater photographers and videographers with a particular passion for sharks. We met on a dive boat, heading out to dive with Great Hammerhead sharks, and chatted about their charity, Sharks4Kids, about shark conservation and our joint passion for shark imagery. We asked Jillian to tell us a little more about what she does.

Tell us about Sharks4Kids. What does it do now and what you hope to be able to achieve in the future?

Sharks4Kids is a US based non-profit with the goal of creating the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventure. Founded by a team of marine biologists, videographers and photographers, Sharks4Kids is able to combine science and conservation media to create a unique and dynamic range of shark education materials. The website offers curriculum, videos, activities and more. Skype classroom lessons and Google hangouts also offer teachers and students the opportunity to have an interactive experience with shark scientists and conservationists. Using Skype, the team has connected with over 40,000 students in 37 countries and 47 US States. Our shark education tours have been hosted in Canada, The Bahamas, The United States and the Dutch Caribbean. In person visits have taken our team to 7 different countries and our ambassador program is building. Shark snorkels, dives and tagging trips are also offered as a way of immersing students into the world of sharks and shark science. We will be publishing our first children’s book in April and will have our first app available later in the year.

Sharks4Kids hopes to expand and increase field opportunities, develop more interactive video content and continue to build the next generation of shark advocates around the world.

Sharks4Kids

Tell us a little about yourself, why you love sharks, and how you got involved in shark conservation.

I grew up crawling through tide pools on the Maine coast and swimming in the cold ocean water until my lips turned blue, much to my parents’ dismay. By the time I was 8 years old, I had seen dolphins, manatees and sharks in the wild and my attachment to the ocean became even deeper. I knew from that young age, the ocean was my place and would be a large part of my life. This passion and fascination has only intensified as I’ve gotten older and much of my adult life has revolved around the ocean.

After graduating with a degree in animal behavior I began traveling the world to study sharks, which took me to Florida, The Bahamas, California and Australia. During my travels my love of sharks and want to help conserve them only grew. I realized how much fear and even hatred was associated with these animals and my own experiences were polar opposites of that. I knew I wanted to share their story and help people understand their reality versus the stereotypes and so began a journey to spread shark education and awareness.

I created Sharks4Kids, Inc. in 2012 because I believe kids offer hope for our oceans and for our planet. Their voice can be heard.  When given tools, the opportunities for students around the world to make a difference, is endless. They have beautiful visions, stories to tell and creative, unbiased minds to drive action. No matter how young or old, never underestimate your ability to influence, inspire and empower.

I have traveled the world filming and photographing marine life, especially sharks. Perceptions and attitudes are changing, directly propelled by someone’s glimpse into the life of these misunderstood predators. Education and awareness develop understanding and compassion, all of which can be catalyzed by one simple image.

Sharks4Kids

Why are great underwater images and video important to the great work that you do at Sharks4Kids?

It is probably cliché to say, but a picture is really worth a 1000 words and can tell a very powerful story. Showing people the beauty and grace of these animals can replace fear with fascination. Images can also catalyze a curiosity for someone to have their own experience. They allow us to show diversity, adaptations, behaviors, habitats and threats facing sharks. They can also help us learn a tremendous amount about a particular shark or a species. We can also show people in the water with sharks, which is also a powerful tool. Sharks are wild animals and they must be respected, but they are not the man-eating monsters they are so frequently portrayed as. Photos and videos are an invaluable tool for teaching kids around the world about sharks, why they are important and how they can help save these incredible animals.

For more information, visit www.sharks4kids.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Blogs

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition. The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Veronica’s film – Worse things Happen at Sea – can be seen here:

Sixth and final in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.


For more information please visit:

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