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Shark Saver Julie Andersen Honored for Protecting Sharks Worldwide


By Scuba Diving staff | Authored On July 19, 2012
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Shark Saver Julie Andersen Honored for Protecting Sharks Worldwide

sea hero

Shark Angel

Shawn Heinrichs

Shark Angel

Julie Andersen walked away from a successful marketing career to start three conservation nonprofits in the past years. For her work with Shark Angels — a grass-roots movement that teaches techniques from direct action to using social media to raise awareness about global threats to sharks — she's our August 2012 Sea Hero. We also interviewed Andersen on what it's like to be a Shark Angel in 2015.

Why sharks?

These fascinating creatures exemplify all that is beautiful and perfect on this planet — such as the extraordinary power of nature, and a vital reminder of what we must respect and protect.

How can ordinary divers become shark guardians?

We can help people understand what is going on. Every time we go diving with sharks, we prove they are worth more alive than dead. We can serve as a positive voice for an animal that most despise.

Favorite Shark Angels success story?

The day we made Toronto fin-free. All of our hard work over the past three years was worth it: We can and did change the world — not just for sharks or for the oceans but for our shared futures.

Any regrets?

That I didn't have the nerve to get started on my new career sooner — the past decade had been incredibly devastating for sharks and our oceans.

Who are your sea heroes?

Capt. Paul Watson for doing what no one else will; Sylvia Earle for going where no one else has; and my 10-year-old goddaughter (and certified diver) Ella Addison for reminding me why I can't stop fighting for sharks. She's a constant inspiration who knows no limits and believes anything is possible — not to mention she's been diving with and speaking out for sharks since age 3.

Each Sea Hero featured in Scuba Diving will receive an Oris Diver’s Date watch (worth $1,595). At the end of the year, a panel of judges will select one overall winner, who will receive a $5,000 cash award to further his/her work.

Nominate a Sea Hero here.