Collaborative charity launches in Cairns
A tech entrepreneur, two filmmakers and a former chef have joined forces to launch a new charity aimed at protecting the ocean.
Bevan Slattery and Richard Fitzpatrick grew up together in Rockhampton, but spent every chance they got exploring the ocean with their friends.
Now a tech entrepreneur, and a marine biologist-cum-underwater-filmmaker respectively, Bevan and Richard’s Biopxiel Oceans Foundation is the result of their shared passion for the ocean.
The pair already co-own production service provider Biopixel, which has seen them work with David Attenborough on his Great Barrier Reef Series and organisations like the BBC, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.
Biopixel Oceans Foundation is an extension of their work underwater.
“We will continue to bring the ocean to life through Biopixel, but we also want to get more people talking about our seas, the marine life in them, and how we can work together to research and protect all of it,” Bevan said.
“That’s our vision for the foundation – to enable conversation and collaboration, so we can support and use the latest innovative research and technologies to ensure the ocean is healthy well into the future.”
Richard said a large part of the foundation’s work would be tackling the gaps in existing science to create effective management plans.
“The conversation about protecting our oceans has grown in recent years and there are new marine protected areas being established each year,” Richard said.
“But, there’s a lot we still don’t know about the ecology of these areas. Our research aims to increase our understanding about the relationship between marine life and their habitats, so we can make really impactful decisions about their conservation.”
Former chef Adam Barnett has been working as a shark researcher for the past 20 years. His background puts him in good stead as the foundation’s Principal Researcher.
“We don’t see ourselves as the saviours of the ocean,” Adam said. “We know that to make a difference, we’re going to need all the help we can get. That’s why one of our main aims is to collaborate as often as we can.
“Whether that be collaborating with another research institution, or with a corporate company that wants to book a charter and have fun on the reef while we do our research.”
Underwater photographer and filmmaker Christian Miller is an active member of a number of campaigns and organisations dedicated to the protection of the ocean.
His main focus as part of the foundation’s core team is to foster the next generation of ocean ambassadors.
“I think it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to work on solutions to repair the damage that has already been made to the ocean,” Christian said.
“It’s important that the next generation are aware of the challenges we face with climate change, but also that they get to explore and get excited about the opportunity and adventure that the ocean brings.”
To learn more about the Biopixel Ocean Foundation, its core projects, and how you can get involved, visit their website www.biopixelfoundation.org.