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Photo by @BrianSkerry Close-up of a mako shark in the waters off New Zealand. Makos are one of the fastest fish in the sea, capable of bursts up to 60mph and of all shark species they have one of the largest brains, relative to body size. They are also an endothermic shark, meaning that they can generate heat within their bodies. This allows them to swim into cooler waters to feed on oily fish, giving them great strength and fueling their powerful muscles. The numbers of makos have declined worldwide due to over fishing and the demand for shark fins. They are currently listed as vulnerable. #makoshark #sharks #NZ

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A Blue Shark with a red colored Parasitic Copepod attached to its dorsal fin cruises in the waters of the Gulf of Maine (a tiny hitchhiker). A pelagic animal living in the open sea, blue sharks have been sculpted by nature to move like undersea aircrafts, with slender, fuselage-like bodies and long wing-like pectoral fins.Like all species of sharks, their numbers are in decline due to over fishing and shark finning. #sharks #gulfofmaine #sharkfinning

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A Humpback whale calf appears to be riding on its mom’s nose as it swims closely to her in the waters of the South Pacific. Humpback moms invest a lot into their offspring, with a gestation that lasts nearly a year and then spends the first year of the calf’s life teaching it all the skills it will need to survive in the sea. These bonds are strong and are an important element of whale culture. #whales #humpbackwhales #pacific #momandcalf #whaleculture

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Photo by Brian Skerry @BrianSkerry An Olive Ridley sea turtle entangled in plastic fishing net in the waters off Sri Lanka. I was at sea in this location searching for whales, on assignment for @natgeo when our crew spotted this turtle struggling at the surface. I got into the water, made a few photos, then with the help of our team, freed the turtle. The turtle was severely entangled, with the plastic ropes wrapped tightly around its flippers and body. Floating debris, such as drifting logs, often attract fish and other small creatures and turtles will investigate hoping for a meal. In this case the debris was a bamboo log that was snagged with net. Despite some wounds on its flippers from the net, this turtle strongly and quickly swam away once it was free. I actually saw several sea turtles entangled in plastic during my time on this assignment and we disentangled each one. But I can’t help wonder about the many others I won’t be there to see or help. Plastic is a terrible problem in the sea with an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic being added to our oceans each year. In edition to deadly entanglement, it is eaten by countless animals, many of which are consumed by humans. #plasticpollution #planetorplastic #srilanka #seaturtles

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Photo by Brian Skerry @BrianSkerry A pair of orca travel on the ocean surface in the waters of the Norwegian Arctic days before the sun sets for the winter and the Polar Night begins. The orcas migrate into fiords in this region during late fall and winter to feed on herring that often overwinter here. Successful feeding by the orca involves complex communications and echolocation as they hunt in total darkness. Specialized feeding strategies such as this are examples of intelligence and culture found among whale and dolphin families. #orca #norway #whaleculture #smartanimals

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy World Oceans Day! On this day, when the world celebrates the magnificence of Earth’s oceans, I urge you to think about the need for conservation of our water planet. 98% of our biosphere - where life can exist on Earth - is water - yet only about 3% os the oceans are protected. Science tells us that for a healthy planet, at least 40% of the oceans must be protected. Every other breath we takes comes from the sea, more than 50% of the oxygen needed to live is generated by the ocean. For our own survival, ocean ecosystems must be conserved. But the benefit of a thriving planet also means that we not only survive, it means that we live richly and in harmony with nature. My hope on this day is that each one of us will work on becoming better citizens for the planet in every way possible - from reducing waste in our daily lives (especially plastic) to making wiser choices about what we eat and supporting political leaders that understand science and who will act to protect the ocean and the Earth. #worldoceansday #WorldOceansDay2019

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Photo by @BrianSkerry An Orca feeds on a fish that has fallen out of a fishing net in the waters of the Norwegian arctic. Orca migrate into these northern waters in the fall to feed on herring. Most often they use a feeding strategy in which multiple animals work cooperatively to ‘corral’ the herring into tight schools, then swim through and eat them. But frequently these days, the orca are finding that they can get an easier meal by hanging out near commercial fishing boats and picking up the fish that escape from the nets. #orca #dolphins #whales #whaleculture #norway #arctic #smartanimals

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy #worldturtleday - A Leatherback Sea Turtle feeds on a pyrosome (colonial tunicate) in pelagic waters off of The Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean. Leatherbacks are the oldest, largest, deepest-diving and widest ranging of all sea turtle species and ... endangered. Believed to feed only on jellyfish, this rare scene illustrates that they eat pyrosomes too. But it is also easy to see that sea turtles could easily mistake plastic bags or other pieces of plastic trash as food. And eating plastic can kill them. Leatherbacks and all sea turtles also frequently become entangled in fishing nets and caught on longlines. The sex of baby sea turtles is determined by the temperature of the eggs in nests on beaches and climate change is effecting this as well An ancient mariner whose lineage is older than dinosaurs, yet today faces extinction due largely to anthropogenic stresses. #sea turtles #underwater #endangered species #azores

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Portrait of a sperm whale in the waters off Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean. These animals have complex cultures within their families that includes specialized dialects, parenting techniques and more. Sperm Whale family units are matrilineal and are led by older, wise female whales. The sperm whales found around Dominica however, are on a 3% annual decline due to anthropogenic stresses, such as entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes. As Dr. Shane Gero has stated, if this population of animals were to disappear, we would loose a whale culture. Although other sperm whales would exist, but the cultures of this particular clan would be lost forever. #whales #dominica #whaleculture #smartanimals

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Photo by @brianskerry Lethal gill nets can trap thousands of sharks, dugongs, turtles and dolphins around the Great Barrier Reef every year. Help free our seas from these deadly nets by signing and sharing WWF's #NetFreeNorth submission (link in @TheGillNet bio)

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy Earth Day! - A baby manatee clings to its mother’s back while she forages on seagrass, creating billowing clouds of mud around them. On this day, we celebrate our stunningly beautiful planet - a water plant that glows like a jewel when viewed from the darkness of space. The more we learn about Earth, the more it becomes clear that it is a living tapestry in which everything is connected. Geology and biology blend together in a perfect machine where life flourishes everywhere. But our home planet is suffering and is being degraded. It is an assault on every front. We live on a water planet, a place where 98% of our biosphere (where life can exist) is ocean, yet we are destroying Earth’s oceans daily. We have taken most of the fish, destroyed ecosystems, dump billions of pounds of plastic into her each year and turn her waters acidic from excessive carbon in the air. I believe that every day should be Earth Day and that we must cherish the fragile web of life that exists here and protect it vigorously. We can no longer see ourselves apart from nature or above it, but rather directly tied to and dependent on it. #EarthDay2019

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A newborn humpback whale calf swims just beneath the surface of the water off of Tonga in the South Pacific. Humpback migrate to these warm waters in winter from their summer feeding grounds in Antarctica. While in these warmer waters, females give birth following a nearly year-long gestation period. For the first year of its life, the calf will learn from its mother everything necessary to survive. Coverage from my multi-year project for National Geographic ( @natgeo) focused on the cultures of whales. #humpbackwhales #tonga #whaleculture #planetofthewhales #smartanimals

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A pair of orca swim near the surface in the chilly waters of the Norwegian arctic. The orcas migrate into fiords in this region during late fall and winter to feed on herring that often overwinter here. In late November the ‘Polar Night’ occurs, with weeks on end of darkness. Successful feeding by the orca involves complex communications and echolocation. Specialized feeding strategies such as this are examples of culture found among whale and dolphin families. #orca #norway #whaleculture #smartanimals

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A sperm whale, with squid arms and tentacles in its mouth, feeds in the waters off Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean. These whales find squid here in depths of about 600-meters and surface only briefly between dives while in foraging mode. These animals have complex cultures within their families that includes specialized dialects, parenting techniques and more. #whales #dominica #whaleculture #planetofthewhales #smartanimals

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A recently born humpback whale calf swims under the careful watch of it’s mom in the waters of the South Pacific. Humpback moms invest a lot into their offspring, with a gestation that lasts nearly a year and then spends the first year of the calf’s life teaching it all the skills it will need to survive in the sea. Theses bonds are strong and the learned behaviors are an important element of whale culture. #whales #humpbackwhales #parenting #whaleculture

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Photo by @BrianSkerry An Orca swims into a massive bait ball of herring in the winter seas of the Norwegian arctic. Orca come here to feed on these fish in the fall and stay into the polar winter, when the sun no longer rises above the horizon and light levels are extremely low. The orca use communication and coordination to gather the fish into ‘bait balls’ then swim through stunning the herring with their tails before eating them. Creating unique feeding strategies demonstrates a high degree of cognition and is a key element of whale and dolphin culture. #orca #whales #norway #arctic #planetofthewhales

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A wild bottlenose dolphin plays with diver Nigel Motyer off the west coast of Ireland. In several locations around the world, dolphins have established residency and frequently interact with humans. Photographed #onassignment for @natgeo dolphins #ireland #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador #nature #love #stpatricksday

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A Humpback whale calf peeks at me around it's mom’s nose in the waters of the South Pacific. Humpback moms invest a lot into their offspring, with a gestation that lasts nearly a year and then spend the first year of the calf’s life teaching it all the skills it will need to survive in the sea. The calves are not born with innate knowledge of all the things they must know and must learn these from their mother. Theses bonds are strong and are an important element of whale culture. Coverage from my upcoming project with @natgeo #whales #humpbackwhales #parenting #planetofthewhales #whaleculture @nikonusa

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Photo by @BrianSkerry An Orca calf swims with two adults through chilly seas filled with fish scales in the waters of the Norwegian arctic. Orca come here to feed on a type of fish called herring. The orca use communication and coordination to gather the fish into ‘bait balls’ then swim through stunning the herring with their tails before eating them. Creating unique feeding strategies demonstrates highly cognitive behavior and is an element of whale and dolphin culture. I first worked with orca in Norway in 1994, and back then I was shooting film. Still challenging conditions with very low light, but using digital @nikonusa cameras made things infinitely better! #orca #whales #smartanimals #killerwhales #norway #arctic #planetofthewhales

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A sperm whale calf, about 6 months old, plays in sargassum weed in the waters of the eastern Caribbean Sea. With the largest brain of all animals on Earth, they are also our planet’s largest predator. Portrayed as monsters for centuries, researchers today are learning that these animals and their societies are far more complex than ever believed. Sperm whale families share unique dialects, parenting techniques and other elements of culture. They have roamed the seas since before humans walked upright and likely possess knowledge about the ocean dating back eons. #spermwhales #whaleculture #predators #caribbean #whales

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Photo by @BrianSkerry #NatGeo100Contest. As a National Geographic photographer for more than two decades, I wanted to announce that @Natgeo hit 100 million followers! As a thanks, they are having a photo contest for the next 24 hours only. To submit, simply post your most Nat Geo inspired photo on your feed using the hashtag #NatGeo100Contest. The top 10 photos will be posted on @natgeo and the winner gets a photo trip to Tanzania. Good luck! My photo here shows Harp Seal Pups Kissing! Two harp seal pups meet each other on the pack ice in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence and are touching noses as they sniff one another. Pups are generally born in this region during February and need to spend about two weeks nursing from their moms before they head off on their own. #climatechange #canada #sealpups #babyanimals

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Three sperm whales socialize in the waters off of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean. The whale on the bottom in this photo a calf is named ‘Digit’ and she became tangled in fishing gear in 2015. It was looking like a death sentence for the young whale, but surprisingly, in 2018, Digit was completely free! These whales have been studied for 15 years by @shanegero , founder of the The Dominica Sperm Whale Project. In a story on the @natgeo website, writer @craigwelch tells of Shane’s work with these animals, their families and a this special story This population of whales is on a 3% annual decline due to anthropogenic stresses, such as entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes. If they die off, we would lose a whale culture that possess knowledge that is unique about their home waters. #whales #spermwhales #dominicaspermwhaleproject #whaleculture #dominica #caribbean #oceantrash #plastictrash

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy World Whale Day! - A Humpback whale calf hitches a ride on it’s mom in the waters of the South Pacific. Humpback moms invest a lot into their offspring, with a gestation that lasts nearly a year and then spends the first year of the calf’s life teaching it all the skills it will need to survive in the sea. Theses bonds are strong and are an important element of whale culture. #whales #humpbackwhales #parenting #planetofthewhales #whaleculture

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A sperm whale calf, about 6 months old, swims directly below her mom in the waters of the Eastern Caribbean Sea. With the largest brain of all animals on Earth, they are also our planet’s largest predator. Portrayed as monsters for centuries, researchers today are learning that these animals and their societies are far more complex than ever believed. Sperm whale families share unique dialects, parenting techniques and other elements of culture. They have roamed the seas since before humans walked upright and likely possess knowledge about the ocean dating back eons. Coverage from my upcoming story and documentaries in @Natgeo #spermwhales #whaleculture #predators #caribbean #whales

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A two-day old humpback whale calf rests near its mother in the waters off the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. This population of humpbacks spends the summers feeding in Antarctica, then migrate to the warmers waters in winter where calves are born. The bond between moms and calves is strong, with calves spending their first year with their mothers, during which time they nurse and are given protection while they learn behaviors essential to survival. Although much has been learned about this species throughout decades of research, many mysteries remain to be revealed with these complex societies in the sea. Coverage from my upcoming story in @natgeo #whales #culture #southpacific #humpbackwhales #parenting

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Wishing everyone a magical and peaceful holiday season!

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A Southern Right Whale and diver swim together over a shady sea floor in New Zealand’s Auckland Islands (sub-antarctic) during wintertime. These enormous whales can reach sizes of 45-feet long and weights of 70-tons. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, Southern Right Whale populations have slowly recovered due to protection. Their cousins, the North Atlantic Right Whales however, remain the most endangered whale on Earth, with a populations of only about 450 remaining. This species is an ‘urban whale’ and lives along the Eastern Seaboard of North America traveling from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida each year. During their migrations, they frequently become entangled in fishing gear and die. Ship strikes also kill these whales each year. Despite these devastating problems, solutions exist to save them. Researchers are working with commercial fisherman (lobstermen) in New England to test new lines that will break easier should a whale become entangled. To learn more about Right Whale problems and solutions check out @newenglandaquarium and @andersoncabotcenter #rightwhales #endangeredspecies #nz #newengland

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Photo by @BrianSkerry. Like a ghost appearing amongst the icy undersea landscape, A Harp Seal takes a brief moment to stare at me in the waters of Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence. Historically these animals have thrived in this region, where they come for a few weeks each year to engage in courtship, mating and pupping. Despite these behaviors, declining sea ice over the last decade - due to climate change - has caused problems for this species. Without stable ice, harp seal pups cannot suckle from their mothers, and often fall into the icy sea before they are physically prepared. Survival for this species is uncertain if such trends of climate change continue. #climatechange #seals #harpseal #canada #conservation #harp #seal #pup #gulf #stlawrence #canada #arctic #frozen #water #ocean #underwater #photography #wildlife #nature #national #geographic #natgeo #photooftheday #wonderlust #instagood #nikonlove #nikonambassador

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A series of photos showing an Orca unsuccessfully attacking a Southern Sea Lion pup on the beach in Punta Norte, Argentina. Orcas are the largest species of dolphin and are highly intelligent. Many dolphins have developed special feeding strategies to catch prey, techniques that are unique to the location in which they live. This one family of orca living in Patagonia have developed a feeding strategy that has them beaching themselves in order to grab a sea lion pup. Their timing must be perfect and they must select a precise location where the geography is ideal. My Nikon camera shoot 14 frames per second, so this series happened in less than a second. Photographed on assignment for @natgeo. #wildlifepredation #orca #patagonia #nikonambassador #nikonlove

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Photo by @BrianSkerry November is #ManateeAwarnessMonth ! A portrait of a manatee in Florida’s Crystal River. Manatees are vulnerable to a variety of threats, from loss of sea grass which they eat, to cold water temperatures, red tide and boat strikes. Habitat loss due to development over the decades has created a major problem for them as well. The recent red tide devastation has been especially difficult for many marine animals, including manatees. Spending time with this charismatic animals remains one of my finest wildlife experiences. While photographing a story about these animals I found myself never wanting to leave the water. I reluctantly dragged myself away at the end of each day when the sun was setting. With the sense of urgency becoming greater due to these latest toxic water problems, I hope you will take some time to learn more about manatees and help where you can! #manatees #florida #redtide #conservation #vote

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A large, male Harp seal blows bubbles in a display of territoriality beneath 25-foot thick pack ice in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence. The water temperature here was 28.5-degrees F (almost minus 2 C), but exploring this realm of the harp seal was absolutely stunning. Unlike a frozen lake, the underside of this sea ice is like a mountainous terrain, with peaks and valleys. It is a convoluted and challenging world in which to navigate, at least for a diver, though the seals clearly have it well figured out. Unlike some species of seals, harp seals are not especially interested in humans and don’t want to play. To produce underwater photos I often ‘hid’ amongst the ice and waited for them to dive down through small holes or through leads (cracks) in the the massive ice fields. For a story about these animals for @natgeo I lived on a fishing boat for weeks over two seasons and spent day and night with the seals. Thinning ice due to climate change over the past decade has caused problems for this species, however. Harp seal pups need two weeks to nurse from their moms, during which time they build up fat and strength. If the ice is thin, then can fall into the sea before they are ready and die. In some, recent years, there has been no ice at all and the pup mortality rate rises dramatically. The future for this species remains uncertain. #harp # seal #cute #nature #cold #ocean #conservation #climatechange #nikonlove #nikonnofiter #nikonambassador #icediving

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Photo by @BrianSkerry I’m pleased to announce that I am participating in the National Geographic Image Collection’s Flash Sale. For a limited time, you can purchase an autographed print of my Whale Shark photograph for only $100. Follow the link in my profile to learn more! I made this photo in Western Australia. A spotter plane told us that they saw a large whale shark swimming slowly offshore, so we positioned our boat well ahead of its path and shut off the engine. I remember slipping into he calm sea and quietly swimming away from the boat. I drifted in the deep blue ocean straining to see for several minutes, but saw nothing. Then, as if it was a mirage, the shark materialized out of the blue, with the detail of its massive form becoming clear as it approached me. Although it was moving pretty slow, it was a challenge to keep up with. I was able to position myself at an angle that allowed me to create this perspective. It has long been one of my favorite pictures and one of my fondest experiences and memories of time in the sea. In this special Flash Sale, my Whale Shark photo is being paired with the World’s First Underwater Color Photograph. National Geographic boasted of the achievement on the cover of the January 1926 issue: THE FIRST AUTOCHROMES FROM THE OCEAN BOTTOM. As simple as the photo may appear, it took months of experimentation on the part of noted marine biologist W. H. Longley and Charles Martin, director of National Geographic’s photographic lab. The most advanced color process at the time was the autochrome, a glass plate coated with dyed potato starch. But it was slow and required ample lighting—problematic when one wants to photograph underwater. The hogfish is a rather unremarkable subject for a most remarkable photograph. Here, in all its subtle glory, is that very first color underwater image! The heat and humidity of the Tortugas also compounded shooting problems. After many weeks of missed shots, the men eventually made this history-making photograph. Both photos are available in this unique sale opportunity. Click on the link in my bio or visit http://ngic.photos/Skerry1 And Swipe to see second photo. #flashsale #whaleshark

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Photo by @BrianSkerry An adult, female sperm whale babysits a calf while the calf’s mother is feeding in the deep water below in the eastern Caribbean. Sperm whales are the largest predator on Earth and have been portrayed as monsters throughout human history. But researchers, like Dr. Shane Gero, are shattering such beliefs and are revealing instead an amazing animal with sophisticated behaviors and ‘family values.' This ancient species was swimming in the sea before humans walked upright and possess the largest brains of any animal on the planet. Spending most of their lives in the deep ocean, we rarely see more than brief moments and slowly piece together the puzzle. In the time ahead, more will be learned about their complex societies and cultures. Coverage from an upcoming @natgeo story. #whales #whaleculture

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Photo by @BrianSkerry UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - I will be teaching a one-day Photo Master Class on September 22nd at the @davidbrowercenter in Berkeley, California. To register and learn more, follow the link in my profile. In this class we will focus on the key techniques for achieving success in underwater photography and dissecting images to better understand exactly how they were made. The class will also focus on storytelling and using photography to tell stories journalistically. I will share my experience from more than four decades of underwater photography and tips for making great pictures. Hope to see you in Berkeley! #photoworkshop #masterclass

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Photo by @BrianSkerry On September 21st I will be presenting a lecture at the opening of my photography exhibition, SHARKS, at the @davidbrowercenter in Berkeley, California. The exhibit features dozens of my shark photographs made throughout my career and offers a view of these animals that celebrates their magnificence. I am deeply honored to receive the David Brower Center’s Art/Act award 2018. David Brower has been a hero of mine for decades and a great inspiration. From the photo exhibition - An Oceanic Whitetip Shark swims with a trio of pilotfish as an escort in the waters of The Bahamas. Once the most abundant large animal on Earth (large being defined as more than 100 pounds), the oceanic whitecap’s stocks have plummeted 98% and the species is now on the verge of extinction. They have been hunted largely for their fins used in shark fin soup. @natgeo #sharks #savesharks #davidbrowercenter

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Photo by @BrianSkerry My photograph of a school of Yellow Surgeonfish is now available as a Fine Art Print entitled, ‘Painted Reef’ from the @focus_gallery in Chatham, Massachusetts. And you don’t need to travel to Cape Cod to see this print or purchase one of the signed and numbered edition prints. You can visit the gallery’s website by following the link in my Instagram profile. I made this photo in the waters off Nikumaroro in the Phoenix Islands (central South Pacific). This island is one of the places some historians believe Amelia Earhart crash landed. I was on a three week expedition for @natgeo exploring these remote reefs with a team of researchers. I prefer to photograph reefs in the early morning or at dusk, when light levels are low and I can create a dreamy effect of the busy motion of animals within these ecosystems. I was in shallow water near sunset, when this school of surgeonfish enveloped me as they swept over the corals, feeding and likely seeking shelter for the night. These fish have a striking, almost hypnotic color pattern on their bodies that morphs into vibrant yellow and purple hues on their fins. As with nearly all animals I’ve encountered in the sea, they were well aware of me, but paid me little attention as they went about their business. Because of the remoteness of these islands, they have remained relatively unspoiled. Coral cover is substantial and the many animals each play a vital role in the health if the habitat. The Phoenix Islands are owned by the country of Kiribati, which protected this region as a massive marine protected area. My photograph, ‘Painted Reef,’ can now be owned in one of these large format fine art prints from @focus_gallery. #fineart #coralreef #kiribati #phoenisislands #pacific #focusgallery

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A pod of Spinner Dolphins, moms and calves, swim in a coastal bay in the waters off Kona, Hawaii in early morning. These animals forage in deep offshore water at night, then move into shallower regions to socialize and rest in the morning. With the clear water and white sand bottom, they appear to be flying through air. The Hawaiian spinners have a beautiful tri-coloration. These animals are considerably smaller in size compared to species like bottlenose. Spinner dolphins are among the most social of dolphin species, rarely seen alone or even in small numbers. Spending time in the sea with these animals is very special indeed. As with most creatures I photograph, my presence must be accepted for me to make a picture for I could never swim fast enough to photograph an animal that didn’t want me near. But when animals like dolphins allow me into their world, even for brief periods, I am able to see amazing things. It is these moments that has inspired me for decades to travel widely and to endure many challenges. A small price to pay for the privilege of enriching my soul. Photograph made under NMFS (NOAA) permit #17941. #dolphins #hawaii

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Photo by @BrianSkerry ‘PELAGIC PREDATOR’ - My photograph of an Oceanic Whitetip Shark is now available as a large format, signed and numbered fine art print. Available only from @focus_gallery in Chatham, Massachusetts. I photographed my fist shark in the wild in 1982 and that experience had a profound effect on me. As a photographer, I find sharks an intoxicating subject, a perfect blend of grace and power. They move elegantly through the water yet exude a great confidence. In the decades since that first shark experience I find myself frequently working with these animals, trying to produce photographs that capture their essence. Nature has sculpted them to be perfect for whichever marine ecosystem in which they live. The Oceanic Whitetip in this photograph, is a true pelagic predator, living in the open sea in regions that have been called ocean deserts, where food is few and far between, so they must be especially efficient hunters. Their long pectoral fins are shaped like the wings of a glider, allowing them to cruise over long distances and save energy. The Oceanic Whitetip is a species on the brink however, having been hunted for their fins for decades. Their populations have declined up to 98% throughout much of their range. On this day, the water was clear and the sun shined brightly in the sky. I dived down to a depth of about 10-meters and waited for the shark to swim into the ideal position, blocking the sun, creating a silhouette and accentuating its form. After lots of waiting and many attempts, I had the image that I had envisioned in my mind’s eye. And now, it is available as an archival, fine art print. Follow the link in my profile to learn more about my collection at the @focus_gallery and see the full sized, large format photograph! #sharks #oceanicwhitetip #fineart

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Photo by @BrianSkerry I am taking over the IG feed of the @newenglandaquarium this week, posting some of my favorite shark images! A pair of Great White Sharks swim through schools of jacks near dusk in the waters off South Australia. Much of what we think about white sharks is not true. They are not merciless hunters, are not always loners and may be far smarter than ever believed. I have always sensed a great cognitive ability in great white sharks, as they often seem to be sizing up a situation and figuring things out. I believe that in the time ahead, science will reveal that these animals are far smarter than ever believed. Check out @newenglandaquarium to see more of my curated shark photographs! #sharks #greatwhiteshark #australia #predators

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A free diver swims above a large whale shark near the surface in the waters off Western Australia. The largest fish in the sea, whale sharks were recently reclassified as an endangered species, with their numbers having being reduced by half according to recent studies. Whale sharks are plankton feeders, often moving slowly near surface waters as they feed. Their populations are being most impacted in regions such as Asia, where there is a demand for their fins. Swimming with whale sharks has long been one of my favorite experiences. They can be massive in size, yet so gentle, moving gracefully and purposefully through the sea. I feel that they are always quite aware of my presence, but rarely give me much thought. It’s as if they are on an long and ancient journey and I am simply a momentary distraction. #whaleshark #australia #freedive

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Photo by @BrianSkerry ‘Presidential Swim’ - My photograph of former US President Barack Obama snorkeling over a coral reef in the waters off Midway Atoll in September 2016. This photo is now available as a Fine Art Print only from @focus_gallery in Chatham, Massachusetts. Click the link in my profile to see the full frame photo and to learn more about my exclusive collection of large format, limited edition, signed and numbered prints available through the Focus Gallery. Days before this photograph was made, President Obama created the world’s largest marine protected area in the waters surrounding Midway Atoll by expanding the boundaries of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. He traveled here to see firsthand this spectacular underwater ecosystem. I was honored to be invited to join him on this snorkeling adventure. I was on assignment for National Geographic magazine and knew that I needed to get the photo, so I was very focused on the job at hand. But I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of spending time at sea with the president and loved our conversation about the value of protecting the environment and especially the ocean. A few weeks after this, I was invited to the White House and gave President Obama the first copy of this print. Now, it is available to everyone! Scientists tell us that to have a healthy planet, we must protect at least 40% of Earth’s oceans. Today, only about 3% is protected, so we have a long way to go. But actions such as this, by world leaders, is a positive step in the right direction helping to ensure a vibrant future for all. #presidentobama #potus #midway #marinereserves #healthyoceans

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Photo by @BrianSkerry My portrait of a Gray Seal in the Gulf of Maine, entitled ‘Ain’t Misbehaving,’ is now available in beautiful large format as a limited edition, signed and numbered fine art print! Available only from the @focus_gallery in Chatham, Massachusetts. To see the full collection of my prints at the Focus Gallery, follow the link in my profile. This has always been one of my favorite images. I spent 5 hours in the chilly water the day I made this picture, loving every minute of being with these seals. In the beginning they were shy, but eventually built up their courage to come closer and eventually were biting on my fins! This guy stoped just long enough for me to make one picture, then swam off. #seals #gulfofmaine #maine #portrait #fineartprint

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Photo by @BrianSkerry My photograph of a North Atlantic Right Whale, entitled ‘Right Whale Sunset,’ is now available in beautifully large format as a limited edition, signed and numbered fine art print! Only from the @focus_gallery in Chatham, Massachusetts. To see the full collection, follow the link in my Instagram profile. I will be at the Focus Gallery in Chatham (on Cape Cod) on July 1st signing copies of my books and talking about my work. #rightwhales #northatlanticrightwhales #capecod #fineart

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Photo by @BrianSkerry A school of bluefin tuna photographed in the Mediterranean Sea off of Spain. I am excited to announce that I have partnered with the @focus_gallery in Chatham, Massachusetts to offer 10 of my favorite photographs as limited edition, fine art prints. This photo of bluefin tuna is one of the images available as a print through the Focus Gallery. If you can’t make it to Chatham to see the full frame, large format prints, matted and beautifully framed in the gallery, check out their website by following the link in my Instagram profile. Only 50 prints of each photograph in select sizes are available!

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Photo by @BrianSkerry. A Bottlenose Dolphin swims with Spotted Dolphins in The Bahamas. After humans, dolphins have the largest brains in the animal kingdom, relative to body size. Despite this fact, their world is very different than our own and the ways in which they use their brain is fascinating. Dolphins see much of their world acoustically, using echolocation (i.e. sonar) to determine the location of objects and distances. Dolphins also sleep with one half of their brains awake, as they need to be constantly alert for predators and because they are voluntary breathers. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #bahamas #thebahamas #bottlenosedolphin #bottlenose #dolphin #spotted #tropical #tropics #ocean #caribbean #underwater #photography #national #geographic #natgeo #photooftheday #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador #nikonlove

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Photo by @BrianSkerry. A spinner dolphin calf (in the foreground) with a plastic bag encircling its head swims with her mother in the waters off Oahu, Hawaii. While working on a dolphin story on assignment for @natgeo I saw this mother dolphin playing with a plastic bag. Dolphins often pick up objects floating in the sea, such as seaweed or leaves and play games, passing the object to another dolphin swimming behind them. In this case the adult dolphin passed the bag to her calf. The calf picked up the plastic bag and in the process the bag slipped over her head and formed a ring behind her eyes. I was swimming as hard as possible alongside and was trying to reach the calf to pull off the bag, but she stayed just beyond my reach. It was frustrating and horrifying to see this happening so closely and yet be unable to help. Eventually, the young dolphin leap into the air, twirling around, as spinner dolphins do to dislodge parasites (hence the name spinner dolphins). On her second attempt, the bag flew off of her head and she was free! I picked up the bag, brought it to the boat and disposed of it once back on land. Plastic is a serious problem for every creature on the planet. #spinner #dolphin #dolphins #ocean #underwater #photography #nationalgeographic #natgeo #travel #hawaii #oahu #water #tropical #animals #photooftheday #onassignment #nikonambassador #nikonnofilter #nikonlover

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Photo by @BrianSkerry Happy World Oceans Day! June 8, 2018 On this day, when the world celebrates the magnificence of Earth’s oceans, I urge you to think about the need for conservation of our water planet. The majority of where life can exist on Earth is water - 98% of our biosphere - yet only about 3% os the oceans are protected. Science tells us that for a healthy planet, at least 30% of the oceans must be protected. Every other breath we takes comes from the sea, more than 50% of the oxygen needed to live is generated by the ocean. So if for no other reason than our own survival, ocean ecosystems must be conserved. The oceans give us so many riches and taking care of the sea means a healthy future for all. #worldoceansday

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Photo by @BrianSkerry. A male Shortfin Pilot Whale (center) carries a dead calf in its mouth, while swimming with two female Pilot Whales off Kona, Hawaii. The calf, whose skin is beginning to slough off, is likely the offspring of this social group. Throughout history, there have been occasional reports of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) caring for their dead, though direct evidence and photos such as this one are quite rare. Photographed on Assignment for  @NatGeoMagazine. #shortfin #pilot #whale #calf #hawaii#nature #nurture #care #family#conservation #underwater #photography#kona #national #geographic#photooftheday #nikonlove #nikonambassador #nikonnofilter

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Photo by @BrianSkerry. A large tiger shark swims through the open, blue waters of the Indian Ocean off the coast of South Africa. Tiger sharks are one of the more adaptable shark species, able to move easily from open ocean to denser, urban oceanic environments. Despite our knowledge of these creatures, much of their lives remains a mystery and researchers are only just beginning to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle. Shot on assignment for @natgeo. @thephotosociety #underwater #southafrica #predator #sharks #sharklove #nature #love #photography #photooftheday #followme #follow #instagood #nikonlove #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador

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Photo by @BrianSkerry. A Humboldt Squid expels a cloud of ink at night in the waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. These animals can grow to be thirteen feet long and they feature a parrot-like beak that can remove quarter-sized chunks of flesh from their prey. The arms and tentacles of Humboldt Squid are lined with as many as 24,000 tiny ‘teeth,’ which they use to attack and hold their prey. Historically found in southern waters, Humboldt Squid have been forced northward by climate change and warming sea temperatures, with reports of Humboldt Squid sightings off of the Pacific Northwest of North America and in Alaska. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #humboldt #squid #cloud #ink #mexico #sea #of #cotez #tentacles #climate #change #global #warming #conservation #protection #nat #geo #underwater #photography #photooftheday #nikonnofilter #nikonambassador #nikonlove