Ocean News

Celebrating ocean wins

8th June 2022

Over the past few months, many of us have felt a noticeable slump in our morale when it comes to matters involving the environment, climate and conservation. Our news feeds are flooded with devastating stories of natural disasters brought about by the effects of climate change, and it is tough to not feel demoralised, and like progress in these fields is slow. But in amongst the recent doom and gloom, there have been some remarkable ‘ocean wins’, and we are reminded that around the world there are researchers, educators, policymakers and everyday people hard at work to ensure a blue future for us all.

In the build-up to World Ocean Day 2022, we’ve celebrated these passionate ocean advocates, spreading their messages of inspiration and hope, to inspire others out there to continue with the positive work that they are doing.

‘As long as there are people who care and take action, we can and will make a difference.’
Abdulmohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheik, Founder & President of The Save Our Seas Foundation

Craig Foster

Co-founder of The Seachange Project

‘My Octopus Teacher’ had hearts and minds spellbound during the midst of a global pandemic, while many of us were confined to our homes. Craig Foster’s story offered many an escape and had us re-evaluating our connection with nature through his story of an uncanny bond with an octopus at the tip of Africa. There is absolutely no denying Craig’s deep connection with nature and the ocean.


‘I feel the deep resilience of mother ocean, I feel her strength, her biodiverse intelligence. I sense her living on for millions and millions of years, giving birth to countless new species, And my heart is happy.’

Dan Beecham

Underwater cinematographer

‘The ocean gives me purpose in life. I spend hundreds of days per year on shoots around the world striving to unlock her secrets. Sometimes she gives us nothing and we come back empty-handed, but every now and again our patience and tenacity are rewarded and we’re given a glimpse into the spectacles and mysteries she still holds secret, and that’s what keeps me going.

In the 25 years I’ve been diving I have seen places be hit hard by fishing or pollution or plastics, almost to the point where recovery seems impossible, but I have also been lucky enough to go to places that have been left alone for long enough and have rebounded beyond our wildest dreams. The ocean can and will recover, but the time to act is now.’

Pippa Ehrlich

Oscar award-winning director and filmmaker

Pippa Ehrlich has made a successful career out of her dedication to sharing her deep passion and love for the ocean, in the hopes of connecting people to the ocean. She is the co-writer, editor, and director of My Octopus Teacher, a film that connected each of its viewers to an underwater world experienced by a few.

Often when I talk about the ocean, I talk about why it’s important: the home it provides for animals and the way it keeps our planet functioning.

The truth is that sometimes when you are underwater, you are so overwhelmed by the intrinsic beauty of that space that you forget about all the heady logic of marine conservation. A couple of months ago I had the incredible privilege of freediving in the seagrass beds of St Joseph Atoll. This near-pristine patch of habitat is abundant with sharks and turtles and rays and all sorts of predatory fish. It’s completely overwhelming and hard to look at individual animals when what you are really seeing is this complex, perfectly put-together miracle of ecology. It was also late afternoon and between holding my breath and watching the light dancing through the surface, I was utterly entranced. At times like this, you dissolve into the water around you and it’s almost like the ocean is coming to life inside of you: a kind of pre-embryonic state where you can’t tell where you end and the seawater begins.

There are many reasons to love the ocean, but for me, it’s deeply personal moments like this when that love beats strongest.

Jaida Elcock

Co-founder of Minorities in Shark Science (MISS)

Co-founder of MISS (Minorities in Shark Science) – a group of Black female shark researchers promoting diversity and inclusion in shark science – Jaida works to encourage women of colour to push through barriers and contribute knowledge in marine science.

Jaida is also well-known for her TikTok content where she uses humour to educate the general public on the incredibly biodiverse and intriguing world of shark science.

Photo © MISS

‘The ocean has given me life in more ways than one. Not only does the ocean hold life in beautiful and diverse forms, but it also provided me with a fulfilling career and the opportunity to meet other incredibly inspirational people, including Amani who’s featured here! I have the ocean to thank for many of the friends I have and the life I am currently living. And I am grateful to be able to admire its beauty from above and beneath the waves!’

Pier Nirandara

Author, film producer and underwater photographer.
As an author, film producer and underwater photographer, Pier has done incredible work connecting the literary world with the ocean.
The ocean is our lifeline. In her arms, we are all equal, and we are free. While the ocean is a universal democratiser, access to her remains a privilege. If we are to save our seas, we must first inspire others to care. That starts with access to experiencing the water for those who do not have that privilege.
My priorities are education and representation. We can’t care about what we don’t know and where we don’t feel like we belong. There is so much xenophobia—so much sinophobia—in conservation, exacerbated by the recent pandemic. It’s easy to vilify poor fishers trying to feed their families, who are forced to catch sharks or countries still struggling to escape the shadows of colonialism without appropriate resources, who can’t afford to put sustainability and conservation at the top of their priorities. But disenfranchised groups are the most at risk from climate change, so it begins with representation—reclaiming marine spaces from the past for the future. The ocean is a universal democratiser. In her arms, we are all equal, and we are free.

Chris Auret

A South African Artist and Maker of Things

Chris uses his art to create connections and aims to portray some sort of energy-filled capsule of a moment. An “object” still possessing life, simply because life went into it.

The mural captured here was painted in support of the “Oceans Not Oil” campaign, which was successful in halting Shell and their seismic testing of the West Coast of South Africa for oil.

“In the Ocean”

– by Chris Auret


In the Ocean,

Singing with the Whales,

Swimming with the Dolphins,

Way beyond the veils

Of utmost illusion

Swaying in and out

of states

of varied dis-solution



i will be Formlessly Floating,

Trusting the Water

                           to carry me.

‘Oceans Not Oil’ painted on corner of Bedford St & Michael Rd, Observatory, Cape Town. Artwork © Chris Auret

Phoenix sailing team

South African sailing team competing in international Grand Prix circuits
The South African flagged Phoenix sailing team is one of nine TP52 class racing yachts taking part in the 52 Super Series, where sustainability is at the forefront of every event. The deep respect and love that sailors have for the ocean are present even in the action-packed racing moments.
The ocean is our racetrack, and that demands respect.
As sailors, we see the ocean in every form. We learn to appreciate champagne conditions and to respect the power it wields when the winds turn wild.

Megan-Rose Francis

Marine conservationist & operations manager at The Beach Co-op
Marine conservationist Megan-Rose from The Beach Co-op has a great passion for sharing her love for the ocean with those around her and has been working with marine institutes from a young age. The Beach co-op is a dedicated non-profit on a mission to build ocean communities that care, through evidence-based education and experiential learning to keep South Africa’s beaches clean and healthy
‘No dive is ever the same and yet every time I’m in the water, I am reminded of how amazing the ocean is and why we need to do everything we can to protect it.’

Alan van Gysen

Surf photojournalist
Alan is one of the world’s most respected surf photographers and has spent the past 15 years carving his mark on the local and international surf scene.
“The ocean to me is home and family. Whether it’s running along the coast, paddling out to sea or floating down below the waves, the sea is my backyard and has given me everything I have. From my family in Kommetjie to my work as an ocean storyteller and documentarian. It quiets my soul, and has always brought me closer to its Creator.”

Rachel Brooks

British wildlife artist
Rachel is an internationally selling British wildlife artist with a deep understanding of the natural world. Her studies in Zoology have connected her to the field of scientific illustration giving life to her incredible artworks.
“The ocean is a place where I feel most at home, most alive and most connected with nature. I find being by, on or beneath the water to be the most calming place I can be, and one of the only places I can truly be present in our overstimulated day to day lives. Its power fills me with awe and I am forever fascinated by all the creatures that call it home. The biodiversity found in our seas is incredible and getting to be a part of that environment for just a moment and introduce it to others is such a privilege. After spending most of the past decade working beneath the waves I have discovered a deep love for our oceans and I hope to share that passion with others through documenting it in my artwork.”

Artwork © Rachel Brooks

Dr Nadia Rubio

Marine biologist and founder of Mar Sustenable Ciencia y Conservación, A.C

Dr Nadia Rubio is the founder and director of Mar Sustentable Ciencia y Conservación, A.C., a non-profit organisation that works to conserve marine life in Mexico’s Caribbean waters and to conserve coastal habitats and biodiversity for healthy and sustainable human livelihoods.

Shamier Magmoet

Freediver, underwater filmmaker & POC Creator of safe spaces for all
Co-founder of the #SeaTheBiggerPicture initiative Shamier Magmoet is an advocate for the ocean and his community and tries to bring the two together.

Our Ocean is our Heritage.

Our Heritage needs protection, but how can we help?
We can help by creating safe ocean spaces, for our youth, by helping to provide them with the ability to access the Ocean as needed, by opening the doors for them to experience our Ocean safely, and by being willing and open to share whatever we learn. This is how we can help to develop future Defenders Of The Blue.

With all her life, our Ocean now more than ever needs all the help she can get. Being under extreme pressure from human and natural effects, we need to do whatever we can to help. No action is too little. Every little thing we do makes a real difference

I believe that only once we learn about our Ocean will we fall in love with her, and only once we love our Ocean will we want to protect her. This is why I have started hosting open day snorkelling events, totally Free for all, inviting anyone who has never snorkelled before just to come and try it, experience it, and spark interest and love for the Ocean as so many of us have.

Dillys Pouponeau & Ellie Moulinie

Research Officers at SOSF D’Arros Research Centre, Seychelles
As two young Seychellois working to conserve the ocean, Dillys & Ellie have grown up in a country dedicated to and ever enriched by its surrounding seas. They have a firm understanding of how important the ocean is for our survival, as well as a deep love and respect for it.
‘Life cannot exist without water. This is why the ocean is important.’

Dr James Lea

CEO of Save Our Seas Foundation

A massive THANK YOU to everyone that took part in our #ReasonsToLoveTheOcean campaign. We have loved sharing these inspirational stories and unique perspectives, and we hope you felt encouraged to continue doing your bit for our blue planet. Join us, wherever you are, in celebrating and supporting our oceans for World Oceans Day.