As you may know, we are hosting a scavenger hunt on Women's Dive Day! Our troop has set up a unique photography-based scavenger hunt, which is why I am interviewing women that are underwater photographers! In the last blog post, I interviewed local Austinite Jennifer Idol. Now you can learn more about Maurine Shimlock!
Maurine Shimlock is an underwater photographer who runs Secret Sea Visions, which is a sustainable diving and travel business. She is also a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
I first asked Maurine how she first got started with underwater photography. She replied:
"Back in the mid-1970s my husband and I owned a dive shop in in Mexico. We started taking pictures for fun with a Nikonos III, a completely submersible camera. In the late 1980s we moved to the Solomon Islands to work on a liveaboard dive boat. That's when we really began studying how to take good underwater images."
She also told me about the importance of conservation:
"I think the most important thing anyone can do is to be aware that this planet is really one system. There is no place called 'away'. There is no place to throw garbage away, to use toxic chemicals where it won't impact the marine environment. Participating in beach and river clean ups is a great way to give something back to the environment. Understanding why consuming certain types of fish, like sharks, are very harmful to the entire system is important."
As Jennifer Idol spoke to us about reaching for our dreams, I think Maurine Shimlock also has a very important message. We need to preserve the ocean world by using less toxic chemicals, and keeping the four R's in our minds: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This can keep the garbage out of our ecosystem.