Author: Kathryn Curzon

Kathryn is a marine conservationist, a dive travel writer, and an award-winning author based in New Zealand. She is the author of No Damage and co-founder of the marine conservation cause Friends for Sharks

With a growing media focus on the plight of our oceans, it is easier than ever to learn about marine conservation issues and get involved. There are many dedicated organizations out there, from worldwide charities to smaller, community-based initiatives. No matter what your preference or ability, there is a way to pitch in and help. Here are our picks for five top shark charities that working to preserve our oceans.

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A group of Australian divers are changing the world of tankless diving by introducing the AirBuddy. This portable system offers up to 45 minutes of dive time for one diver up to 12 metres of depth and is both lightweight and small; consisting of just a battery-powered air compressor, a regulator and hose. The 12-volt battery takes 3.5 hours to charge using a standard electrical socket.

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A Spanish biologist and amateur beekeeper, Federica Bertocchini, has discovered a plastic-eating caterpillar that could be the solution to global plastic pollution. The caterpillar’s ability to consume plastic was accidentally discovered during routine bee hive maintenance and it’s has since been studied by Bertocchini and her peers at the University of Cambridge. Their findings have been published in Current Biology in April 2017.

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Researchers working in Queensland, Australia have discovered humpback whales breach to communicate with other pods of whales over 4 km (2.5 miles) apart. Wanting to know why these whales breach when migrating, researchers observed 94 different groups of whales during their migration to Antarctica. Their findings were published in Marine Mammal Science in November 2016.

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Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhat Binsar Pandjaitan, has announced up to one billion dollars will be pledged to reduce Indonesia’s plastic waste by seventy per cent over the next eight years. The announcement was made at the 2017 World Oceans Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali. Luhat confirmed that Indonesia will be focussing on plastic alternatives and education initiatives to achieve their goal. Their plan is part of the global UN Clean Seas campaign to reduce major marine waste sources by 2022.

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The South Island of New Zealand is known for its diverse and spectacular landscapes including remote national parks, golden beaches, World Heritage status rainforests, glaciers, and Mount Cook. Made famous by The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, it is a popular holiday destination for those seeking outdoor adventures and adrenaline highs.

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New Zealand is known for its wilderness areas on land but it is also home to 36 marine reserves and a spectacular array of dive sites. With accessible coastlines and hundreds of offshore islands, there are opportunities to dive wrecks, subtropical reefs, explore arches and dive within kelp forests, to name but a few. It is also possible to dive with rays and sharks, given that 26 species of ray and 113 species of shark have been recorded in New Zealand waters. There is something suitable for all dive preferences and abilities and here are our top picks of diving the North Island.

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