Elena is a German/Venezuelan biologist extremely passionated about shark conservation. In 2010 she studied the effects of coastal development on the spatial ecology of lemon sharks at the Bimini Shark Lab. Unfortunately, as the project developed and the sharks habitats were eventually destroyed she began to doubt that science alone was an effective enough solution to the many problems that sharks now face. While looking for alternative ways to help, she discovered shark ecotourism and all of its potential benefits. After careful consideration, the decision was made to leave behind scientific research and instead learn how to start a shark diving company.
To learn more about the tourism industry and business practices, she enrolled in an MBA in Sustainable Tourism at the European University of Munich. During this time she applied for, and won, the Rolex Scholarship from the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society. This program provided her the opportunity to travel the world to study her passion: Shark conservation through ecotourism. With each positive experience her beliefs were confirmed. When properly implemented, ecotourism is the most efficient tool to protect shark species and their habitats.
Once her scholarship year was complete, Elena immediately went to work setting up her own project and months later Shark Business was born.
Daniel is an entrepreneur from the UK who for the past ten years has been successfully managing his construction company in London whilst also travelling extensively and working as a freelance underwater photographer.
He is a regular contributor to popular scuba diving magazines and websites, and is known for his love of big animal photography, especially sharks. Having spent countless hours underwater with sharks, Daniel has learnt how to safely dive with a variety of different species and what it takes to run a responsible shark tourism operation. He has seen for himself on his travels how this type of tourism can benefit the animals, the environment and the economy.
Unfortunately he has also witnessed the noticeable decline in top marine predators in recent years and believes that it is time to make changes now before it is to late. After meeting Elena in 2014, the two realised they shared similar goals and dreams and joined forces to look for new destinations to establish sustainable shark tourism. As partners in the Shark Business project, Daniel plans to use his experience in business and his knowledge of the shark diving industry to contribute to the conservation of sharks.
You can see Daniels work and find out more about him at: www.danielnorwoodphotography.