Freediving

Lesley Rochat

PADI Divemaster | Conservation & Underwater Photographer | Social Entrepreneur and Purpose Founder | Global Speaker

Biography

Adventure runs deep in her veins; rock climbing, white water canoeing, paragliding, and galloping bareback once thrilled her, but ocean adventures topped all of that a long time ago, a passion that made her pack up a successful corporate career and dedicate her life to preserving our precious oceans - given her efforts in shark conservation she is fondly known as the Shark Warrior.

This PADI Divemaster wears many hats in her quest to make a difference. She is the founder and Chief Purpose Officer of a non-profit organisation, AfriOceans, an award-winning and extreme conservationist, filmmaker, photographer, environmental writer, speaker, campaigner, author, photography and environmental journalism teacher, mentor, dive expedition leader, and activist.

As the principal photographer of AfriOceans, she has explored countless dive destinations leading her to establishing Shark Warrior Adventures, a responsible tourism and self-funding initiative of AfriOceans. Lesley believes that at the core of environmental degradation is humanities disconnected from Nature, forgetting that we are a part thereof. Shark Warrior Adventures aims to reconnect people to their true belonging through transformational ocean adventures, dive expeditions, wildlife experiences and courses.

“My vision is to positively impact on global ocean conservation through growing a network of conscious individuals who will help turn this tide of great environmental destruction into one of great recovery.”

Hometown

Kapstadt,
South Africa

Career Highlights

  • Photographer of the PADI Sardine Run Iconic bucket List Dives replacement card
  • Inductee Women Divers Hall of Fame and Ocean Artist Society
  • Winner of South Africa's Nation's Greatest Awards for Conservation and non-conformism
  • Nominated twice for Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards
  • Received numerous videography and photography awards
  • Founded AfriOceans Conservation Alliance
  • Founded Shark Warrior Adventures and co-founded the Shark Warrior Adventure Centre
  • Established Blue Pulse Pictures, a production company focused on ocean topics
  • Produced the film Sharks in Deep Trouble
  • Designed and established a public Shark Centre in Cape Town
  • Designed a shark research project involving the satellite tagging and releasing of captive sharks, and responsible for a policy that requires sharks at the Two Oceans Aquarium to not stay in captivity for their entire life
  • Responsible for numerous awareness campaigns: Rethink the shark; Get Hooked on Conservation, Ban Drumlines, and many others
  • Responsible for reaching thousands of children through environmental education programmes, including Swim Like a Shark
  • Invited to appear on various TV shows, speak at various events, and being published in numerous publications
  • Became a mentor and teacher for young ocean guardians through select internships and leadership courses.

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