July 10, 2008


Respect Our Wrecks

One of the real treasures of shipwrecks is the opportunity they provide to explore the past. Wrecks can serve as important habitats for fish and other aquatic life because their substrate acts as an artificial reef for entire ecosystems. Invertebrates, such as mussels, sponges, scallops and sea fans, attach themselves to the hard surface of the wreck. Since these organisms often support higher levels of the food web, fish populations often congregate and propagate in the safe haven of the structure. The abundance of life and biodiversity found on wrecks can be similar to that of the world’s most pristine coral reefs.

Divers are privileged to have access to underwater sites that are part of our cultural heritage or maritime history. To preserve the sites for future generations, it is important to be informed, dive responsibly and treat shipwrecks with honor and respect. Divers must be responsible when exploring these submerged sites, looking after themselves, the environment and the cultural heritage.

Project AWARE created the Respect our Wrecks campaign to educate divers about preserving our underwater cultural heritage and demonstrate the environmental value of such sites. As a diver, if you find an object or wreck that may be of historical importance, leave it where it lies, mark its position and seek advice from local government authorities.





Photobucket For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives. Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed. Stewart's remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world's sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.