Board of Advisors

Ocean Advocacy Advisory Board

Stephanie Gilmore
Enzo Maiorca
Patrizia Maiorca

Herbert Nitsch
Dave Rastovich
Kelly Slater

enzo-maiorcaEnzo Maiorca

Enzo Maiorca was born on June 21st 1931 in Siracusa (Syracuse), Italy. He learned to swim at the age of 4 and soon began diving, even though, as he himself confesses, he was very much afraid of the sea. Once he became a champion, his fear vanished. On the contrary, he always tells young divers how great the sea is for a person’s well being, how important it is to be afraid of it and never to treat it in a cavalier way.

As a youth, he received an education in classical humanities, always accompanied by his passion for sports, mostly those related to water, particularly diving and rowing. He also practiced gymnastics. In those years he used to practice underwater spearfishing, diving to a depth of 3 to 4 meters, but his mindset, based on respecting nature and living beings, led him to renounce this.

One day, a physician friend of his, showed him an article about a new record dive to a depth of 41 meters. That record had been achieved by Falco and Novelli, who had defeated Bucher’s record. It was the summer of 1956 and this achievement had a very strong impact on Maiorca. After thinking it over for a short time, he decided to compete with those great divers of apnea (free) diving. He gives his all in order to become the one to dive most deeply in the sea abysses. In 1960 he realized his dream by diving to 45 meters, thus defeating Santarelli, a Brazilian. In September of the same year, Santarelli succeeded once again in breaking a record by diving to 46 meters, however that record was short-lived, as Enzo reached -49 meters in November.

This marked the beginning of a great era in which he was a worldwide top-level diver for 16 years, till 1976. That year, he decided to take a break from diving until 1988 when, for his daughters Patrizia and Rossana (who are both renowned worldwide because of a beautiful series of world records in apnea diving), he achieved his last record diving to 101 meters.

enzo-divingIn 1978 he was part of a special scientific research expedition in the Bermuda Triangle. In June 1990 he took part in some experiments at the Buffalo Center for Diving Physiology and Pathology, directed by Dr. Lundgren. On June 11th, 1993 he had the highest-profile role in the location of the Veniero, a submarine that had disappeared in 1925. In 1994, during the twelfth legislature, he was a senator of the Republic of Italy, and he decided not to run again for office for the following legislature.

Maiorca has received the following prestigious accolades:

  • Presidential Gold Medal for sporting merits (1964)
  • Golden Trident of Ustica
  • Literary C.O.N.I. Prize for his book "A capofitto nel turchino" (1976)
  • C.O.N.I. Golden Star for sporting merits
  • Navy Gold Medal for Merits (not only for his sporting achievements, but also for his efforts in defense of the environment) (2006)

He is married to Maria Gibino. Besides his family and sports, Maiorca also loves the countryside, animals, and reading, as well as classical mythology and Phoenician-Punic archeology. Both in the past and today, he is strongly and constantly committed to engaging in efforts to protect the sea and nature in a deep, efficient way.

 

Patrizia MaiorcaPatrizia Maiorca

My passionate love for the sea is not only ingrained in my DNA, but also stems from the place I was born in Siracusa (Syracuse), Italy. I grew up with the sea in my eyes and my ears. The hours of my life, ever since I was a newborn, were marked by the sound of the sea’s voice. My sister Rossana and I used to compete to see which of us could gather the highest number of sea urchin skeletons, but soon this morphed into competitions for the deepest dive.

My career in competitive sports began in 1978 with a record constant weight dive to 35 meters. The following year I broke my own record by reaching 40 meters with my sister Rossana, who began that year to practice competitive deep-blue free diving, with prestigious results that almost always outdid mine. In 1982 we dived in the sea of Milazzo to a record variable weight depth of 50 meters.

Even after being married and giving birth to three children, the call of the deep was still strong. In 1987, I achieved another record concerning variable weight diving: 70 meters. My last record dive dates back to 1988, when I made a 47-meter constant weight dive.

My abandonment of competitive sports did not mean I abandoned the sea. I am still in contact with the sea in all possible manners, both by swimming on the surface and by diving. The fact that I am in touch with the sea so assiduously gave me a chance to realize how badly endangered our seas are, how very seriously ill they are. Therefore, I try and lend my voice to the cry for help which rises from the sea, and I do so by holding lectures and discussions, during which describe what I see when I dive.

With this aim in mind, in May, 2012 I was the patroness – through an apnea dive – at an exhibition of underwater photographs which were mounted on the Milford Haven oil tanker, which sank off the coast of Arenzano in 1991. I also contribute to the “Mondo Sommerso” magazine.

Besides my passion for the turquoise dimension, I also passionately love reading; my studies were based in the Classics. I also co-manage a small citrus orchard belonging to my family. I love the countryside deeply, almost as much as I love the sea.

I feel incredibly lucky because my life is full of colors. The green and yellow hues of the Sicilian countryside, and the blue and azure hues of the sea. Nowadays these dramatic hues are threatened in the name of deceitful, meaningless development. I fight with all I have so that the countryside and the sea retain their colors and that green and blue are not inexorably defeated by gray and black forever.

 

Herbert NitschHerbert Nitsch

World-renowned as “the deepest man on Earth,” Nitsch earned that title when he set the world freediving record at an astonishing depth of 214 meters (702 feet) in the 2007 ‘No Limit’ discipline, a feat he surpassed in 2012 with 253 meters (830.8 feet). Nitsch can hold his breath for more than nine minutes and has set 32 world records in all of the eight recognized disciplines – unrivaled achievements in the history of freediving. He holds an additional world record in the traditional Greek freediving discipline, Skandalopetra.

Rare amongst freedivers, Nitsch is self-taught, and has developed his own freediving techniques and training regimes over the years. He has introduced novel equipment, many of which has become standard equipment in freediving. Together with his international technical team, he designs and produces highly innovative gear with hydrodynamic shapes and lightweight materials. Nitsch is a pioneer in the world of freediving.

Nitsch is also an avid sailor, and brings to Sea Shepherd’s Board of Advisors a deep love of, and commitment to, the oceans. When he is not freediving, he can often be found sailing a catamaran, or designing new ways of navigating the oceans both above and below sea level.

During Nitsch’s frequent travels around the world, he has observed the alarming state of our oceans and has become determined to raise awareness. In his lectures worldwideand discussions with corporations and with the general public (including the freediving community), he educates his audiences about Sea Shepherd’s work and emphasizes the importance of conservation and the plight of dwindling ocean life as a result of overfishing and other man-made environmental stressors.

“Bottom line is that our beautiful oceans, which encompass the vast majority of our planet, are in an extremely concerning state these days, and very little is being done about it,” says Nitsch. “Organizations such as Sea Shepherd are a leading force in creating awareness among the mainstream public about the desperate state of our oceans and its marine life.” He advocates his motto “the Ocean deserves Respect” whenever he talks about Sea Shepherd’s dedicated work to defend and protect the living seas.

 

Dave RastovichDave Rastovich

Dave "Rasta" Rastovich is a professional surfer born in New Zealand. Dave's love of the ocean has led him to risk his life and freedom to defend the dolphins in Japan and to support efforts to save the world's whales. In October of 2007, Dave and fellow surfers paddled out to the infamous Cove in Taiji to oppose the dolphin slaughter. "The reason we surfers were there was to share the blood-stained waters at eye-level with our ocean kin awaiting their execution. Despite the fishermen taking great pains to hide their acts of cruelty, we seized an opportunity to bring this travesty to the world's attention."

Aside from conservation and surfing, Rasta is also known for his alternate lifestyle, which includes daily yoga sessions and meditation. Due to his concern for our environment, he maintains his very own organic veggie garden, and is constantly working on ways to make surfboards more eco-friendly.

 

Kelly SlaterKelly Slater

Kelly is a record 11 time ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Champion, he is both the youngest and oldest individual to win the title and he also has the most World Tour wins of any surfer. Kelly has co-written two books, Pipe Dreams: A Surfer’s Journey and Kelly Slater: For the Love, and has helped design a video game that bears his name – Kelly Slater Pro Surfer. Kelly has excelled on the big screen, staring in many surfing videos, TV shows, and he has helped create the IMAX 3D film The Ultimate Wave Tahiti. In 2007, Kelly started The Kelly Slater Foundation which raises awareness and financial support for existing social and environmentally conscious charities. Kelly also does PSA work to help gain awareness for the perilous state of our marine ecosystems. As a man who has made his living riding waves, Kelly has a unique perspective on the state of our oceans.

"There aren't many people in life who let nothing but their conscience and gut feelings guide them. It's even more rare to have a group of people do that for the betterment of the world instead of just themselves. I support Sea Shepherds for this exact reason. They put their heart into our planet to help even those people they're fighting." Kelly

Sea Shepherd
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
Why Just One NYC screening Q&A
On December 16, 2016, the New York City chapter hosted the premiere of Why Just One? Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s first full length, in-house documentary. The sold-out event was Captain Paul Watson's his first New York appearance at a Sea Shepherd event since returning to the United States...
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Sea Shepherd vs Poachers in the Gulf of California
Six fishing boats engaged in illegal activities were spotted by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, ending in their arrest by the Mexican Navy.
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Ghost Nets Go; Vaquitas Stay
Sea Shepherd and the M/V Farley Mowat break down how illegal underwater nets in the Sea of Cortez are snagged, pulled, cut and bundled. Footage also includes freeing and releasing live animals from the nets and cataloging those who unfortunately did not make it.
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
Sam Simon arrives in Mexico for Operation Milagro III
The Sam Simon has arrived in Mexico to join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society-led campaign, Operation Milagro III. A partnership between Sea Shepherd and the Mexican authorities, Operation Milagro III intercepts, intervenes and interrupts any illegal activities found in the Vaquita refuge in the...
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
Divina Guadalupe Beaked Whale Research Project
**If you cannot see the captions on this video, just click on CC on the lower right corner of video settings on the video ** #Breaking #SeaShepherd helps scientists learn more about #rare Beaked whales! Did you know that Cuvier's Beaked whales hold the record for the deepest mammalian dive? Watch t...
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Operation Milagro III Campaign Launch Video
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is returning to Mexico’s Gulf of California for Operation Milagro III to save the near extinct vaquita marina porpoise and the endangered totoaba bass. The M/V Farley Mowat is back on active duty with the M/V Sam Simon joining the Milagro campaign for the first ti...
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
Sea Shepherd Investigates Whale Corpse in Sea of Cortez
The Farley Mowat Sea Shepherd crew is called out to investigate a dead Brydes whale in the Gulf of California on November 5th, 2016 while patrolling the vaquita refuge. To help the Sea Shepherd crew to continue its work in the Sea of Cortez, including protecting the near-extinct vaquita marina porpo...
Entanglement in the South
Entanglement in the South
Operation Guardian Angel - In and around Bahia de Los Angeles, in the Gulf of California, countless marine species are entrapped in nets with little or no hope of rescue. Rosalia Tellez works for CONANP, a department of the Mexican government that acts as park rangers to enforce laws and assist in ...
Good and Bad Days
Good and Bad Days
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers over the course of two days. The first day Sea Shepherd locates and removes a long line from the sea; fortunately no animals were caught in the net. However, the next day volunteers find a sea lion that has been caught and died in a fisherman's net.
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Operation Virus Hunter Campaign Summary
Sea Shepherd campaign Operation Virus Hunter saw the vessel RV Martin Sheen under the leadership of Alexandra Morton, head up the coast of British Columbia Canada to expose open pen Atlantic salmon farms and the impact they are having on wild Pacific salmon and the the surrounding eco-systems.
Illegal Totoaba Nets
Illegal Totoaba Nets
This video follows Sea Shepherd volunteers through the process of locating, retrieving and disposing of illegal nets in the Gulf of California.
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
Discovering Alleged Wild Salmon Dead in Fish Farms
August 12th 2016: Early Thursday morning the R/V Martin Sheen assisted Melissa Willie, a band councilor of the Musgamagw Dza’wada’enuxw nation, in hand delivering a letter to three farms expressing the nations disapproval of the industry. Sea Shepherd crew alongside independent biologist Alexand...
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
The Grind of the Faroe Islands
Ross McCall travels to the Faroe Islands to explore the truths behind the centuries old tradition of the brutal Pilot Whale drives.
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Operation Virus Hunter: A Salmon PSA with Pamela Anderson
Sea Shepherd Chairman of the Board, actor/activist Pamela Anderson, cautions viewers about the dangers of eating farmed salmon.
Why Just One?  Indiegogo Video
Why Just One? Indiegogo Video
Support Sea Shepherd's documentary by sharing and backing our Indiegogo campaign here: http://bit.ly/1OfvER6
Milagro Summary - English
Milagro Summary - English
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Operation Milagro II has come to an end. Milagro is its campaign to fight the looming extinction of the vaquita porpoise, the most endangered marine mammal in the world. With an estimate of less than 100 surviving vaquita, Sea Shepherd ships the R/V Martin Sheen...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 15 - Good Bye
Watch the crew of the Farley Mowat capture footage of illegal fishing activity with a night vision drone and pull up a totoaba net in the dead of night. This is the final vlog of Operation Milagro II!
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project
Sea Shepherd's Ethical Research Whale Project is dedicated to collect samples from whales in the Gulf of California to measure levels of toxins in whales in order to determine the levels of toxins in the Gulf of California itself. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Totoaba Poachers Caught on Camera
Never before seen footage. Sea Shepherd catches critically endangered totoaba poacher in the act. The Sea Shepherd crew filmed these totoaba poachers as they were checking one of their illegal nets in the protected vaquita habitat. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the wor...
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 14 - Saving Lives
Watch‬ the routine of our crew doing valuable work in the ‪Sea of Cortez‬. We have been very effective at removing illegal fishing gear from the ‪‎vaquita‬ porpoise's habitat. So much so, that now, most of the time we remove nets and lines that are mostly empty, our favorite thing to do....
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
Sea Shepherd finds 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks
The Sea Shepherd crew has found 3 dead vaquitas in 3 weeks in the month of march of 2016. The vaquita porpoise is the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Learn more at: www.seashepherd.org/milagro2
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
Sea Shepherds finds a dead sample of the most endangered marine mammal in the world
While patrolling the waters of the upper Gulf of California the Sea Shepherd crew found a dead vaquita porpoise. The vaquita is the most endangered marine mammal in the whole world. The crew also found a Great White Shark caught in an illegal gillnet.
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
Operation Milagro II: Vlog 12 - This is Direct Action
This week, the crew of ‪Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's ships The M/V Farley Mowat and The RV Martin Sheen find and retrieve an illegal totoaba bass long line from the critically endangered ‪vaquita porpoise habitat. The totoaba fish is also critically endangered. Watch all episodes at: http...
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd Crew Save Humpback Whale Entangled in Illegal Gillnet
Sea Shepherd crew rescued a whale entangled in an illegal totoaba gillnet in the Gulf of California. Sea Shepherd currently has two vessels in Mexico's Gulf of California on OPERATION MILAGRO. Our goal is to save the vaquita porpoises, the most endangered marine mammal. The vaquita are caught as a r...
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
Gregg Lowe on Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro
You might know Gregg Lowe from X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now watch him explain Sea Shepherd's Operation Milagro and understand why we must save the #VaquitaMarina - The most endangered cetacean in the world. Help us save the vaquita at: http://seashepherd.org/milagro2/donate-now/vaquita-appeal...