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SeaLegacy #TurningTheTide

We're on a mission to create healthy and abundant oceans. Founded by @PaulNicklen & @CristinaMittermeier

https://www.change.org/p/florida-stop-the-state-sanctioned-poisoning-of-our-lakes-and-rivers

Photos by @shawnheinrichs // All eyes were fixed on the horizon as we converged on the melee of violent splashing on the oceans surface just ahead. After 8 days with little success searching along the coast of Sri Lanka for the elusive Blue Whales, it was a relief to finally find something. At first we couldn’t figure out what this commotion was all about, but as we drew closer it quickly came into focus. A huge dorsal fin cut the surface and charged into a log jam of rolling long dark shapes. Almost in unison we shouted ‘Orcas attacking Sperm Whales’! In all my years on the ocean, I had never heard of such a thing and certainly never imagined I would see it with own eyes. We grabbed cameras and fired away as a pod of perhaps 5 Orcas tore into a family of a half a dozen Sperm Whales, right next to our boat! The attack was violent and disturbing as the panicked Sperm Whales were clearly no match for speed and maneuverability of the orcas. I realized this was a once in a life time opportunity and summoned up the courage to jump in the water and join the frenzy. All eyes fixed on me wondering if I would become easy prey for the most formidable predators in the ocean. Wasting no time, I grabbed my camera and slid off the back of the boat. There was a frothing, dark pile of shapes ahead of me. Drifting away from the boat toward the action, I took note as the largest Orca in the pod broke off and made a bee-line for me, pinging me with its sonar. Time slowed down as my mind battled with my intuition. I had heard warnings before about the extreme dangers of swimming with ‘wild’ Orcas, especially when these apex predators are engaged in a hunt. But in my heart I knew they were highly intelligent and evolved creatures who ‘should’ have no interest in hurting me. #predatorweek #turningthetide with @shawnheinrichs @bluespherefoundation @sea_legacy

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Photo by @PaulNicklen // A Hawaiian surfer dives below the surface, catching an amazing wave on Makaha Beach, Oahu. Capturing the essence of Hawaii’s indigenous surf culture was a different kind of photography experience for me, working with people as subjects instead of wildlife. We spent two weeks on the island simply getting to know the people and their culture before even taking out a camera. This type of photography requires patience, openness and personal authenticity, to reach a point where people welcome you into intimate moments of their life. This investment of time is critical, because once relationships and trust are established and the barriers slowly fade away, the results are magical.

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We are excited to announce @Jim_Abernethy as a new member to The Collective — a trusted group of @Sea_Legacy’s esteemed friends who have pledged to use their talents and voices to amplify the message of ocean conservation. Jim Abernethy (@Jim_Abernethy) is an award winning photographer, author, cinematographer and conservationist. He started the world's first large predatory shark, cage-less encounters. While living at sea since 1998 running shark expeditions, he discovered that sharks were sentient creatures and has been teaching his guests how to make friends with sharks using affection every week, since 2014. He is best known for his relentless drive to save our planet’s wildlife. Presently he is working on the red tide issues of Florida, the US Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act and the Land Based Shark Fishing. In his past he has successfully led the charge to protect the Goliath Grouper in Florida, as well as establishing shark protection for the entire country of the Bahamas. We are proud to be #TurningTheTide with Jim Abernethy! Photos by @Jim_Abernethy

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Photo by @nickhawkinsphotography // The thing I like the most about diving is the way it instantly transports you to another world. It's a world that seems so different from where we belong, yet with time one can come to feel as at home below the waves as above. Everything I encounter underwater is a reminder that my own body, my own experience, is just one way of life here on planet Earth. // Shot on assignment for @seabluecanada. This summer we’re shining a light on the species and ecosystems along our coasts, bringing the oceans of Atlantic Canada a bit closer to home.@SeaLegacy #TurningTheTide with @ecologyaction @davidsuzukifdn @wwfcanada @cpaws_national

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Photograph by @cristinamittermeier // Three Hawaiian sisters stare out at the horizon as the tide rolls in, waiting for the perfect wave to arrive. We all have an inherent connection to the ocean, yet some cultures embrace and appreciate it more than others. On Makaha Beach, local Hawaiian surfers constantly feel the pull of the ocean, crave the caress of the swell and hear the waves whisper their names, as if salt water ran through their veins.

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Video by @CristinaMittermeier // Playful and curious, this group of Steller sea lions nibble on @PaulNicklen as he laughs through his mask. Photographing these immensely engaging animals and getting "the shot" can be difficult with constant bumps and bites. However, the challenge is a small price to pay for all the fun that comes with sharing the water with these charismatic creatures.

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Photo by @justinhofman // nothing has changed my life more than learning to dive. From the moment I went underwater with the ability to breathe I knew it was exactly where I should be. If more people went underwater perhaps our oceans would be in a better state. Those of us who do should share all the stories and images we can to spread the love and respect for this ocean planet of ours. #scuba #dive #passion

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Video by @PaulNicklen, @Andy_Mann, and the @Sea_Legacy team // A storm was brewing above the surface as we put on our dive gear and ventured down into the abyss on this night dive in Cuba. With only our dive lights to illuminate the narrow route, it was a surreal feeling to be immersed in such a diverse and mysterious world surrounded by complete darkness. We were on a mission, searching for a large sponge that we had spotted earlier in the day. As our lights wove a search pattern across the ocean floor, they revealed our sponge nestled among the coral. We set another light above the sponge, which reflected off the sharks, creating the eerie moment you see here. With @paulnicklen @andy_mann @iankellett_story @cristinamittermeier @samkretch

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Photo by @nickhawkinsphotography // Submarine pilot @shmulikblum slips below the thin blue line aboard the submersible DeepSea. Submersibles like this one allow us to explore and work in areas much deeper than what is possible with even the most high tech scuba equipment. In this case, to place a receiver 2,000 feet below the surface, on an underwater mountain known as the the Las Gemelas seamount. The work is part of important research being carried out by @migramarnet studying the migratory patterns of endangered hammerhead and silky sharks. Whether by submersible or conventional scuba, diving helps us learn more about our blue planet, both to bear witness to the extraordinary beauty and record the dramatic changes occurring beneath the waves. Shot #onassignment for @oceanschoolnow // @cremacostarica @finsattached @wwfcol @teamsharkwater

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Photo by @CristinaMittermeier // This painted anemone sways in the strong ocean current, off the coast of British Columbia. Our oceans house some of the most colourful and diverse ecosystems on the planet, most of which are only accessible by diving. Diving is an incredible experience as it transports you to an underwater realm. Here, you are a different kind of visitor, testing the bounds of nature, immersing yourself in an unfamiliar element. Yet, we are all inherently connected to the ocean; depending on it for water, food, and oxygen. Join us as we work to protect our oceans, and the colourful marine life that calls these waters, home.

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Photo by @shawnheinrichs // Sailfish are built for speed. Their long bills and aerodynamic bodies cut through water and reach speeds that are among the fastest in the ocean. Sadly, the vast majority of sailfish are caught by unsustainable fisheries. Driftnets and longlines are the major gear types used around the world to catch these billfish and devastatingly produce the highest by-catch rates of any fishing practices. You can help protect marine life like sailfish, by always asking questions and choosing seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that have minimal impact on the environment. #TurningTheTide for #SustainableFisheries week with @shawnheinrichs @bluespherefoundation

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Photo by @PaulNicklen // A giant wave crashes above @CristinaMittermeier while she free dives in the warm waters of Oahu’s west coast. The view from land is white sands, rugged shorelines, and a seemingly endless expanse of blue ocean. To a casual observer, it likely appears that all is well; that life underwater is flourishing. However, beneath the waves, is a growing storm of concern as we increasingly see the health of our oceans and its inhabitants deteriorating. Diving allows us to learn, explore, and expose our ocean’s most desperate issues and gives insight to solutions which can help to save some of our most essential ecosystems.

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