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KARA NORTON

JUNE 2019

MEET THE NEXT GENERATION OF FEMALE OCEAN EXPLORERS

FEMALE EXPLORERS: INKA CRESSWELL

 

The focus on “Gender and the Ocean” during this year's  #worldoceansweek provides an opportunity to showcase the work of a new generation of female leaders who are building upon the advancements of the ocean pioneers who came before them. These women are scientists, photographers, digital storytellers and avid adventurers. 

 

Read the stories of eight female explorers who are working on some of the biggest challenges facing our environment. Take a deep dive into their world 

 

In comparison with previous generations of ocean explorers and conservationists, Cresswell made the distinction that her generation is faced with mediating the effects of human impact...

 

THE FINS              UNITED INITIATIVE 

FEBRUARY 2018

BEHIND THE FINS: INKA CRESSWELL

"WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE LIKE..."

"Behind the Fins" is a behind-the-scenes interview with those involved in fin science! Who do you want to be like? 

What is there to say about Inka Cresswell? We feel like you don't need much of an introduction to such a powerhouse of a person, yet many people still haven't met the bubbly diver and ocean lover. Her fascination with the ocean started young and blossomed as she aged despite struggling with science as a subject. She found a way to not only be immersed under the waves but capture it in a way that captivates audiences on social media to learn not only about the animals behind her lens but what can be done to help them out. The Fins United Initiative is excited to have Inka Cresswell here to talk about her life and journey so far.

The Fins United Initiative: Thanks for being here with us today, Inka. We are thrilled to have you as one of the many marine scientists in Europe today! First off - what got you interested in marine biology? 
 
Inka Cresswell: I grew up by the sea in Brighton so...

SPRIN 2018
SPRING 2017

SWIMMING WITH GIANTS 

Lying on the surface of the water face down I take another deep breath, filling my lungs as deeply as I can as waves crash around me. One more breath and then descend. Kicking through the water we enter the blue in our most natural form, no breathing equipment just a single breath. As I descend deeper a whole new world opens before me, the visibility clearing to reveal a stunning volcanic landscape not apparent from the waters surface. Hanging in the blue an Oceanic manta ray approaches at first keeping its distance but then coming closer meeting the free divers eye to eye as if asking; What are you? Why are you here? Another diver takes a breath and swims under the Manta capturing its ventral side on a GoPro for later identification. After determining the sex a biopsy is taken, the manta ray roles in response but continues to hang around watching the divers with curiosity.

This latest expedition to La Paz and the Revillagigedo Archipelago organised by The Watermen Project brought a group of scientists, free divers and ocean explorers in contact with some of the oceans biggest giants. The Watermen Project is an organization that uses its breath holding and photography skills to collect scientific data in the form of tagging, biopsies and identification photos. As well as the scientific goals this organization also works to create inspiring images highlighting the beauty of our oceans inspiring a future generation of ocean explorers and conservationists.

SPRING 2017

APEX ENCOUNTERS

A photostory about coming face to face with Great White sharks 

Shark populations have been threatened due to Over harvesting, environmental degradation and shark culling. For the first time in years Great white sharks a leading Apex predator appear to be on the rise. In order to continue to conserve these magnificent creatures a change must take place in public perception. One of the best ways to make this change is to experience these sharks incredible beauty and power first hand, the goal is not to make sharks appear friendly or harmless but instead to inspire the public to respect these ancient predators that call these waters home.

Shark tourism is a growing industry that has assigned a new monitory value to sharks globally. On average a shark is worth $200 in the shark fin trade but the same shark is valued at up to $178,00 in the shark tourism industry. This shift in their economic value provides a realistic financial alternative to shark finning. However, the industry faces intense criticism due to claims that chumming alters the natural predatory behavior of sharks. Despite no scientific backing claims have also been made that chumming in close proximity to divers can cause sharks to associate people with prey causing an increase in shark attacks...

DECEMBER 2017

10 REASONS COMPLETING YOUR DIVE MASTER SHOULD BE YOUR NEXT BIG ADVENTURE

Ever dreamt of living on a tropical island? Who hasn’t! The dive master course is your perfect opportunity not to just travel somewhere different, but to truly experience it. To live like a local and dive every day of the week. Here are my 10 best reasons (and trust me I can think of plenty more) why your next big adventure should be to complete your dive master training.

I completed my dive master training (DMT) on the beautiful island of Gili Trawangan in Indonesia. Gili T is a tiny island in the heart of the coral triangle. You may know it as a party island on the backpacker route through Indonesia, but beneath the joss shots and hostels is an incredible dive community and an ocean abundant with stunning marine life. My DMT was by far one of my best travel experiences and here are 10 reasons why given the chance I would do it all again.

FEBRUARY 2018

9 REASONS TO DIVE WITH GREAT WHITE SHARKS IN GUADALUPE

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to come face to face with one of the world’s most notorious predators? Perhaps you watched JAWS and were instantly captivated, or maybe for you great white sharks are the stuff of nightmares… No matter what your view, there is one thing you can’t deny and that’s that these epic sharks fascinate us. 

 

Personally, I love sharks. I love the grace they have when they move through the water, the stories that surround them and the way their fins cut through the surface like a razor. There are few things as spectacular as watching a great white shark fly out of the water and somersault in the air during a breaching event. My first encounter with a white shark was in South Africa’s iconic Shark Alley but after hearing stories of Guadalupe, with its water so clear it’s like looking through glass, I was desperate to take the plunge again.

 

After graduating from San Diego State University with a B.Sc degree in Marine Biology I embarked on a 6 day live-aboard photography trip to Isla Guadalupe in search of Great White Sharks. Here are my 9 top reasons why a trip to Guadalupe to come face to face with a white shark should be at the top of your bucket list!

JANUARY 2018

THE ULTIMATE SUMMER ROAD TRIP GUIDE

Who hasn’t dreamed of speakers blaring Phantom Planets iconic ‘California’ whilst driving down the 101 with the top down and your best friends by your side. Yes, that’s right I’m talking about the ultimate California road trip. Golden beaches, hot surfer boys, only the trendiest of coffee shops and a huge abundance of California burritos. It’s the once in a life time trip every girl in their 20s NEEDS to tick of their bucket list!

If there’s one thing California is not in short supply of, it’s breathtaking panoramic views and the coastal roads have them in abundance. Big Sur has a view that rivals most coasts, its sheer cliffs and roaring waves make the ocean seem as though it goes on forever. And if oceans are not your thing (although I don’t know how they couldn’t be…) Yosemite makes up for it with stunning canyons, mountains and cliff faces that take your breath away... 

SPRING 2016

MY ADVENTURE THROUGH RURAL CHINA IN SEARCH OF THE RARE GUIZHOU GOLDEN MONKEY 

 

I have always had a passion for traveling so when the opportunity arose to accompany the national science foundation on a 2 week conservation and filming expedition in search of the elusive golden monkey it was an offer I could not refuse. 

Heres the story of my great adventure...

 

I decided to apply for this program because it was an amazing opportunity to challenge myself. I've worked in research teams before where the majority of the team spoke a foreign language but China would be more challenging than anything I have had to tackle before.