Divers for the Oceans: Champion Freedivers Join Sea Shepherd to End Cetacean Slaughter in the Coves

Sea Shepherd proudly announces the launch of our Divers for the Oceans video. The world’s leading freedivers joined Sea Shepherd, displaying the Jolly Roger in the crystal-like waters of the Plemmirio Marine Reserve in Siracusa, Italy, to call for an end to the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji and the Faroe Islands.

Surrounded by the breathtakingly beautiful environment of the Plemmirio Marine Reserve, the Divers for the Oceans sent out an uncompromising clarion call to the Faroe Islands and to Japan: “NO MORE KILLING IN THE COVES. STOP THE SLAUGHTER NOW.”

Every year, from September through March of the following year, the Cove Guardians keep watch over Taiji’s infamous Cove to monitor and expose the atrocities that occur there – the brutal slaughter of entire pods of dolphins and the trade of wild-caught dolphins for captivity around the world.

Sea Shepherd Global launched its largest campaign in the Faroe Islands to date on June 17. Operation GrindStop 2014 will defend pilot whales and other dolphins from the mass slaughter known as the Grind, continued in the name of a barbaric tradition

The anti-poaching campaign to defend the Plemmirio Marine Reserve, Operation Siracusa, is Sea Shepherd’s first campaign in Italy. Our goal is to defend and conserve marine wildlife for future generations, working in the framework of the protection of the Mediterranean ecosystem. In just the first 10 days of the campaign, illegal equipment and nets were seized, 1,000 sea urchins were saved along with several other species, and 7 poaching operations were busted.

“The town welcomed us generously. Siracusa is extraordinarily rich in history, nature and beauty. Without the citizens actively taking part in our campaign, we would never have obtained such positive results in such a short time. Sea Shepherd Global is proud of this first Italian campaign, and Sea Shepherd will continue to offer assistance and protection to these places whose unique biodiversity can rarely be observed elsewhere in our Planet's seas,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen, Sea Shepherd Global Executive Director, from Siracusa.

divers for the oceans

About The Divers for the Oceans:

Enzo Maiorca: Enzo is a freediving champion, known as the “King of the Abyss.” He is an international icon of the freediving world. Since 1988, he has dedicated his life to safeguarding the natural and marine environment, showing great commitment to this cause. In September 2012, he became a member of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Board of Advisors. Enzo, together with his daughter Patriza Maiorca, was the strong igniting force behind Operation Siracusa, Sea Shepherd Global's first Italian campaign.

Patrizia Maiorca: Patrizia is a freediving champion – both in the constant weight and in the variable weight category. Since retiring from competitive diving, she has devoted her life, together with her father Enzo, to protecting the sea and marine wildlife. She is a member of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Board of Advisors and has been a decisive force alongside Enzo in Operation Siracusa with the aim of defending the Plemmirio Marine Reserve in Sicily.

Herbert Nitsch: Known as “the deepest man in the world,” Herbert is the holder of the No-Limits record (absolute variable weight), having reached a dive depth of -253.2 meters. He is a marine conservation ambassador, and became a member of Sea Shepherd’s Board of Advisors in December 2013.

Gianluca Genoni: Gianluca started his competitive career as a swimmer, but very soon he was fascinated by the freediving world. Among his remarkable achievements are reaching the world record for freediving with pure oxygen, which he achieved in 2008; and the world record in freediving with an electric propulsion device, which he conquered in 2012, as well as countless other world records in various freediving categories.

Mike Maric: Mike’s love of freediving began in 1997, thanks to his meeting Umberto Pelizzari. He specialized in the use of the monoflipper and three years later, in 2004, he achieved the world record in the Jump Blue category. He is currently concentrating on teaching how to dive with a monoflipper, which he himself describes as “a really unique piece of equipment that allows a man to be the closest thing to a dolphin.” Mike is also training and coaching world champion Ilaria Bonin, and is a consultant for the ADN Swim Project.

Production: Idea Video www.ideavideo.it
Location: Area marina Protetta Plemmirio - www.plemmirio.it
Diving: Capo Murro di Porco - www.capomurrodivingcenter.it
Cameraman: Manfred Bortoli
Team: Fabio Portella, Antonio Drosi, Elio Nicosia, Alessandro Quercioli, Francesco Bombara, Simone Fabac

Info: operationsiracusa@seashepherd.it