Cat absolutely loves ocean adventures and her passion for sharks, the water and marine life in general has taken her all over the world! She is a shark ecologist and free diving instructor so spends a lot of time in the ocean. Cat documents this with stunning photos and videos to help others see how amazing our ocean and its inhabitants are. She hopes that showing others how stunning the underwater world is it will help inspire them to take part in ocean adventures and to protect the ocean too!
Read on to learn more about her interests and inspirations …
If you were an animal what would you be?
I would love to say I’d be a shark, but that’s wishful thinking. More realistically I’d probably be a panda, as that’s more in line with how clumsy and cuddly I am.
What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Freediving! Swimming with sharks, editing my photos, being in the ocean. Anything that gets me close to the water.
What is your first memory / experience of the ocean?
Well my first experience with the ocean was going to the beach as a child, and my parents had to carry my sister and I over the sand and into the ocean because we both DESPISED sand. Thankfully I got over that. My first memory of feeling like I belonged in the ocean was tagging my first shark in Cuba. She was a nurse shark and I felt like a real scientist for the first time that day.
How did you get interested in sustainability / eco living and / or the ocean?
It might sound a little cliche, but I’ve loved the ocean since my first time watching The Little Mermaid as a toddler. I’ve always cared for our underwater friends and wanted to work in conservation, but the first time it really hit home was when I was working with whale sharks in the Philippines. Every time we got in with the sharks, we’d come back with plastic and rubbish tucked into our wetsuits and it made me truly understand the indirect impacts we as humans have on the ocean.
What do you find hardest about advocating for the ocean and / or sustainability?
This is becoming less of a problem as sustainability becomes more ‘trendy’, but making eco-friendly choices can get expensive very quickly! It’s hard to explain to people that they need to spend more money on a hypothetical future, especially people who don’t spend every day in the ocean, or even in nature. That’s what got me into photography – a picture is worth a thousand words and I love being able to show people what they’re fighting for with their seemingly insignificant decisions as consumers.
What is your favourite place to visit?
Moorea, French Polynesia. Sharks, whales, rays, hikes, sunshine, happiness. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Where do you want to travel next and why?
I am absolutely desperate to go to Norway. It’s my dream to see the orcas under the northern lights!
What keeps you motivated and inspired?
People. Watching others travel and explore, making changes and using their voices for good causes. I love feeling like I’m part of something bigger. Seeing my friends around the world doing their best to make a difference inspires me to do the same!
What advice would you give someone reading this who wants to start helping the ocean?
Start small. Join ocean cleanups, make sure you’ve got your bamboo cutlery and cut out plastic bags- the obvious ones. Ask others what they do to help the ocean. Start conversations and actively think about your choices. Also if you want to work in ocean conservation – be friendly to people. Make people want to work with you by being genuine and passionate about what you believe in. Nine times out of ten I would pick someone who I believe cares endlessly about the ocean, over someone with a ton of qualifications and certifications.
Any upcoming projects / activities / causes you want to shout out?
I’m not going to tell you just yet as I’ll be announcing this on my takeover this week (July 22nd)! But, let’s just say I’m going to be working with a species I’ve never worked with before, in a country I haven’t lived in for six years. I can’t wait to tell you more!