Lesley's history in marine and shark conservation goes back to 2003 when she founded AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, a non profit organization based in Cape Town, South Africa. AfriOceans achieved major success through the M-Sea Programme, a unique shark conservation programme, which Lesley designed, that involved the satellite tagging and releasing of captive sharks from the Two Oceans Aquarium. In addition, Lesley envisaged and was responsible for establishing the first public SOS Shark Centre in the world, which she ran as an AfriOceans project for two years. Lesley's work has been credited with two Panda Awards, firstly for the 'Rethink the shark' campaign created by Saatchi & Saatchi for AfriOceans, and for a short video she produced and directed, which she named 'Save Our Sharks'. Lesley is also a public speaker, a well-published travel and environmental journalist, the author of educational books and children's books about the oceans, and an accomplished underwater photographer. Lesley's efforts in marine and shark conservation are recognized internationally. She has been inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and the International League of Conservation Photographers.
“Unlike the animals of the oceans that are so in tune with their environment, our greatest mistake has been to disconnect ourselves from nature and assume we are superior. But the time is now for us to remember that we are a part of nature and in so doing recognise that when we harm other life we harm ourselves. We can begin today to rethink our place in nature, rethink what we buy, eat, and do, how our actions and choices affect the environment, rethink the predator, and of course rethink the shark!”
For more of Lesley's work visit the AfriOceans Conservation Alliance website and LesleyRochat.com.