Hails From: Connecticut
Currently Lives in: Los Angeles
Favorite Place: Hawaii, Fiji, Thailand, Costa Rica
Favorite Things To Do: sunset surf sessions, sunrise yoga, nature walks, adventure travel, photography, vegetarian cooking, beach bonfires, rainforest hikes, napping in hammocks, coral reefs, deserted beaches, star gazing, astrology, native wisdom and all things animal kingdom!
Favourite Shark(s) and why?
The Whale Shark--so epically beautiful!
If you could tell people one thing about sharks and/or the oceans, what would it be?
I wish people would understand how critically important an apex predator like the shark is to the overall health and biodiversity of the Ocean. I also wish that humans would respect and revere this ancient being that has been around for over 400 million years--the oldest living species on the planet-- and really stop to think about what the repercussions will be if we drive sharks to extinction.
I'd also like for individuals to recognize that we vote every day with our wallets so our choices do count and lastly that we can all find ways, no matter how big or small, to make a positive impact for protection of endangered species and overall health of the planet.
Why are you on this campaign? What do you want to achieve?
I once swam with 3 white tip reef sharks on a snorkeling trip off southern Thailand and it was an incredible experience. I am certain that I was far more intrigued by them than they were by me! Also as a surfer I came to understand early on that I am just a humble visitor in their homeland and that it is silly to fear sharks as humans simply are not on the menu! Sadly we are the real predators here and after learning about the numbers of sharks decimated each year through the cruel shark finning industry I decided to become more involved with this particular marine conservation issue. Now more than ever, we need to be a voice for all of the world's sharks.
Everyone can play a role in shark and Ocean conservation. I have been working closely with Shark Angels and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on their on-going shark finning initiatives and campaigns. Knowledge is power so becoming educated on the issues is a great place to start and there is plenty of information readily available on these websites. I also write about marine conservation issues for various media outlets and by promoting these important causes through social media --finding creative outlets to raise awareness is something all of us can do. It's really about tapping into our individual skill sets and using our personal strengths to create a voice for those who can not speak up for themselves.
Deborah Bassett was born and raised in Connecticut and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Anthropology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Fluent in French and Spanish, Deborah has traveled the globe extensively documenting the efforts and raising awareness and funding for various environmental and social initiatives. Through the years she has worked directly with such organizations as Amazon Watch, Global Green USA, Rainforest2Reef, Habitat for Humanity, Earth Island Institute, Orangutan Outreach, Surfers 4 Cetaceans, The Clinton Global Initiative, TEDx and The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Her work in marine mammal conservation has been featured in the Academy Award winning film, The Cove and on Animal Planet’s Whale Wars: Viking Shores.