The recipient of the Sea Heroes award in the May 2011 issue, Shawn Heinrichs has been awarded the Sea Hero of the Year for 2011. Oris recognized Heinrichs, a talented cinematographer and passionate marine conservationist, for using his underwater footage and images to help protect reefs and sharks. Scuba Diving asked what the award means to him.
“It is a great honor to be recognized as the Sea Hero of the Year,” said Heinrichs. “In truth, this honor really belongs to the team of committed, hard-working conservationists across the world that I have been so blessed to work with and call my friends. Without their dedication and perseverance, we would not have achieved the conservation outcomes to which I am so proud to have contributed. And most important, without the support of my wife, Danielle, who shares my passion for the ocean, none of these accomplishments would be possible.
“In Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Andy and Marit Miners at Misool Eco Resort have achieved the unimaginable with the establishment of not one, but two No-Take Zones covering a total of nearly 500 square miles. In partnership with WildAid, we implemented a community-based ranger patrol to safeguard this area, which is now considered one of the greatest marine-conservation success stories in all of Southeast Asia. We need a second patrol boat to ensure this area continues to thrive. In support of this effort, I will donate the $5,000 generously awarded by Oris to help purchase a new ranger boat. Hopefully, we’ll raise the additional funds to purchase this boat soon.
“In 2012, I have a number of important projects under way: My ongoing shark and ray fisheries investigations, the Manta Ray of Hope campaign, the Ocean Voice film series and the Pacific Shark Alliance campaign to end the Pacific shark-fin and shark-products trade. I will also continue my work with WildAid, Shark Savers and the Pew Environment Group. Lastly, I am looking forward to my film projects to document the oceans’ most impressive and threatened creatures.”
About the Award Program
“We at Oris are proud to be the founding sponsor of Sea Heroes; and Shawn Heinrichs truly exemplifies the type of individual who was the inspiration for the program. Oris has a long history of supporting marine conservation and is proud to continue our commitment through the Sea Heroes program. Oris makes ‘real watches for real people’ — individuals who actively pursue life, stand up for what they believe in and do things as opposed to just talking about them. “Shawn Heinrichs is -certainly one of those individuals, and his -hands-on approach to marine -conservation has made him worthy of the 2011 Sea Hero of the Year award.” — V.J. Geronimo, CEO, ORIS Watches USA