Diver to raise awareness about sharks

April 25 2012 at 10:45am

By Kamcilla Pillay (original post on IOL)

Trevor Hutton, a South African free-diving champion and former world record holder, trains in the Sea Point pool in Cape Town before his planned 80m-deep dive 36km off Durban Harbour in shark-infested waters.
Picture: Lesley Rochat

South Africa’s free-diving champion, Trevor Hutton, will dive 80m deep in shark-infested waters off Scottburgh next month to raise awareness about the ocean’s apex predators. Hutton said he and his team were allowing for an eight-day window from May 31 to June 7 to break national free-diving records and would do dives in the pelagic zone, 36km off South Africa’s east coast.

The aim of the exercise, however, is two-fold: the 41-year-old hopes to break the record while creating awareness about the plight of sharks.

“Shark conservation is important and we need to make people aware of their situation,” he said.

Supported by his team, Hutton, a former world record holder, and Lesley Rochat, executive director of AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, have teamed up in this unique shark awareness campaign named Deep Freedive for Sharks.

The website dedicated to the cause details the record attempt.

“(The) campaign centres on Trevor breaking a series of national free-diving records in South African waters, off the Durban coast. The dives will take place in the often bloody waters of the shark slaughter carried out by both legal and illegal fishers, an area known as the pelagic zone, situated 36km off the South African coast.”

The campaign, reads the description on the campaign’s website, consists of three components: the free-diving events, a supporting book project and a documentary, and are all linked to a shark protection lobbying initiative that AfriOceans is driving called “WANTED! DEAD or ALIVE?”

Hutton competed as an international free-diver for six years. Accomplishing two world records, he was the captain of the first South African team to the world championships, and holds South Africa and African records.

For more information, go to: http://www.deepfreediveforsharks. com


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