Throughout 2018 our marine biologists here at Love The Oceans will be doing blog posts on topics of Named Days. To keep up to date, follow this blog, also found under the ‘News’ tab on our website. Without further ado, in celebration of PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018, I introduce our seventeenth blog in this marine series:
PADI Women’s Dive Day: Empowered Women Empower Women
Today is PADI Women’s Dive Day, a chance for us to celebrate all the amazing women working to protect the marine world and all its treasures. As an organisation that’s run by women, this subject is close to Love The Oceans’ heart so today, we thought we’d talk about 3 women we find particularly inspiring: Eugenie Clark, Danielle Da Silva and Sylvia Earle.
Eugenie Clark was one of the pioneering shark specialists and marine conservationists. She constantly developed new areas of shark research and worked her entire lifetime to dispel the negative public image sharks seem to struggle to shake off, thanks to the likes of Benchley’s ‘Jaws’ and the stories of the USS Indianapolis. Eugenie unfortunately passed away in 2015, aged 92, but very much remains one of Love The Oceans’ favourite women.
Over Eugenie’s lifespan, she published over 175 scientific articles and 2 books: Lady with a Spear andThe Lady and the Sharks. She was also one of the world leaders in using scuba diving for marine research purposes, something which has become an integral part of many marine research centres today, such as Love The Oceans.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle is the Executive Director and the Founder of an amazing non-profit called Photographers Without Borders. PWB works to help NGOs and non-profits with their media campaigns by partnering them with videographers and photographers to help create content. To date PWB has helped over 175 NGOs tell their story.
Danielle herself is an award-winning photographer, activist and passionate conservationist, founding PWB at just 21 years old. She’s done TEDx talks on conservation and grassroots initiatives which you can watch hereand she most recently came to Mozambique to film some of the PWB web series which you can see on their Youtube channel. As well as all this, Danielle is also the co-founder of The Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary, so grassroots conservation is something she’s very passionate about and familiar with. Danielle’s commitment to raising awareness of so many incredible non-profit’s work is seriously admirable and puts Danielle in our top 3 inspiring women list!
Sylvia Earle is another absolutely amazing human being. She is the David Attenborough of the marine conservation world and is still a pioneering scientist, conservationist and activisteven at the ripe age of 82. Besides being an all-round underwater badass, Sylvia holds over 100 national and international honours and is the National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence.
Sylvia founded a marine conservation organisation called Mission Blue which raises awareness of the importance of our marine life and, as of 2009, runs a super-cool initiative called Hope Spots. Hope Spots are nominated areas of the world which are critical to the health of the oceans. They are about recognising, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean.
Recently, we nominated our home, Guinjata Bay, and the surrounding area as a Hope Spot to be recognised by Mission Blue. We’re very proud to say this has been successful and we’re now working on the launching campaign in conjunction with Mission Blue to raise awareness of our amazing home and the animals within it. Establishing Guinjata as a Hope Spot and working with Mission Blue will make our bay 1 of 8 Hope Spots on the East African coastline, and only 1 of 2 within Mozambique itself. Given LTO’s mission is to ultimately establish a Marine Protected Area (MPA) through a bottom-up, community-led approach, establishing the area as a Hope Spot is a great first step and the support from Mission Blue will seriously aid our efforts. You can read more about Mission Blue and their Hope Spot initiative here.
Since it’s PADI Women’s Dive Day we also can’t go on without pointing out that the reason this day is such a celebration for our organisation is that Love The Oceans is run by women. Francesca Trotman is our Founder and Andrea Biden our Executive Director, both extremely passionate marine conservationists who believe in empowering women to change the world. Women’s place in society in rural Mozambique is something we constantly battle with so it’s really important that our staff know how to break down the social boundaries in a culturally appropriate way to boost women and ultimately alleviate poverty which leads to more successful conservation initiatives. When you alleviate poverty, people have more head-space to think about things like conservation and it’s no secret that poverty alleviation is intrinsically linked to women’s place in society. A while back we wrote a blog about our work with women to help our conservation efforts. You can read this here.
Today, for PADI Women’s Dive Day, we invite you to recognise the awesomeness in your fellow female scuba divers and marine conservationists and celebrate women in the underwater world. After all, no matter what sex you are, conservationists are needed and, as they say, teamwork makes dream work!