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Marelux liaison officer for marine conservation

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Update time : 2024-04-30 16:03:15
Marelux liaison officer for marine conservation
Vanessa is an award winning wildlife photographer and trip leader based in Australia. She has been organising and guiding small group trips for close to 15 years all over the world. One of her main focus is education and conservation. She was always interested in the natural world, but this interest grew into a strong passion for protecting it after a trip to Tiger Beach, Bahamas, in 2011. At that time she had no idea about the various risks and challenges faced by sharks, including the very cruel and unsustainable practice of shark finning. When she heard about it during the trip, she felt overwhelmed by emotions: sadness, anger, pain, confusion. But overall she felt hopeless. The only way she was able to deal with all those feelings was to put it on paper and share it. It was then published in Ocean Geographic. Her first ever article.


That trip truly changed the course of her life, and since then she has been trying to help make a difference, by donating pictures to various Wildlife organisations in order to support their work, participating in local conservation activities such as beach clean ups, and raising awareness via talks, social media or publications. She was awarded the 2015 IFAW Animal Action Award – Marine photographer of the year in recognition for her work and efforts to promote conservation.

Captions of pictures:

Bird picture: Sadly there is a growing amount of plastic in the ocean, a reflection of human consumption and often improper disposal. When travelling on World Heritage Lord Howe Island, Vanessa volunteered with naturalist Ian Hutton and PHD student Peter Puskic while they were studying muttonbirds and looking at the health and growth impacts of eating plastics as it has been found that those birds ingest a lot of plastic while at sea and also feeds it to their chicks. The chick in this picture was found dead in the colony. Peter conducted an autopsy the next day and found a shocking amount of plastic inside, as shown on the picture. Some of the pieces found were as big as the chick beak! 


Nudibranch and coconut octopus pictures:

Human presence and impact can be seen regularly in the underwater environment. It's now quite frequent to see garbage in our oceans. Sometimes this garbage becomes part of the decor for underwater critters, even sometimes shelter. In other instances, this garbage can be deadly especially plastic when ingested by turtles, whales, birds…