Professional Scuba Diver, Photographer and conservationist
Since Matt’s transition from the Military to civilian life he has not only swapped a sharp uniform for board shorts and rashies, but honed in on the importance of the world’s oceans, and more critically it’s Apex predators.
Matt first became aware of Shark Guardian in 2013 whilst working in Thailand. A passionate conservationist; Matt was drawn to our programs and he soon showed interest in partnering with us to work on our common objectives.
During 2017 Matt ran the dive operations off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea and over that time he introduced and developed Shark Guardian’s relationship with Tufi Resort, and created the country’s first ever Shark Guardian dive resort. It became very apparent to Matt that the local villagers in the Oro Province relied heavily on the Sea as a source of food for their families & community on a daily basis. Armed with this observation and knowledge through Shark Guardian, Matt introduced the local chiefs & villagers to the merits of sustainable fishing and the importance of our Apex predators.
“One thing is very apparent when spending time with the villagers; the Papuan people recognise the beauty of their country above the surface but have less knowledge of the importance of the reef structures and aquatic life in the overall life-cycle of the oceans.
The villagers I have spent time with have shown a huge appetite for this knowledge and information, and I’ve witnessed their strong desire to protect their beautifully unique country. Papua New Guinea has yet to be damaged by the hand of man, acting now has vastly better odds of preserving the natural state of the reefs, and avoiding the emergency response to restrict access, repair, re-grow reef structures that we are witnessing elsewhere in the world”.
Matt has now started his own travel company and leads expeditions globally with a keen focus on sharks. Expeditions have included South Africa for the Sardine Run along with multiple visits to PNG. Matt intends to follow up on the work he carried out last year and to bring further support to the villagers when it comes to conservation of these marine areas. Currently he is in talks with the Papua New Guinean government with a long-range goal of securing a marine conservation policy within the country. Not only are the reefs of the Papuan waters exceptionally pristine, they have also yielded sightings of Leucistic Hammerheads (currently only 1 other location on earth is known for rare sightings); hence Matt is extremely keen to obtain further data on these animals for Shark Guardian and reinforce the country’s need for legal protection of this unspoilt aquatic reef system.
If you would like to assist Matt in his research of PNG and join one of the expeditions, please feel free to ask us or contact Matt directly: firstname.lastname@example.org