Lesley Rochat, also known as the Shark Warrior because of her passionate efforts in shark conservation, is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, followed by a high profile career as a professional actress, TV presenter and model. Her history in marine and shark conservation goes back over a decade when given her growing concern for the marine environment, and after diversifying into the corporate world, she packed up a successful career and founded AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Cape Town, South Africa.
AfriOceans achieved major success through a unique shark conservation programme designed by Lesley that involved the satellite tagging and releasing of captive sharks. Under Lesley’s leadership, AfriOceans continues to successfully drive education, awareness and lobbying initiatives. This award-winning documentary filmmaker is also the CEO of Blue Pulse Pictures, a production company owned by her. She has produced and directed numerous documentaries, including her multi-award winning documentary, Sharks in Deep Trouble, and the Panda Award winning Save Our Sharks short awareness video.
An avid diver and a PADI Dive Master with over 1000 dives, she is a well-published travel and environmental journalist and award-winning photographer. She is the author of several children’s books and educational books, and the creative director of countless educational and awareness initiatives, including the unique AfriOceans Warriors Environmental Programme. Her other major success is her work as a campaigner, in particular her Panda Award winning Rethink the shark campaign.
As an activist she has earned a respected reputation for her efforts in lobbying for the conservation and protection of South Africa’s sharks. Lesley is considered an important role player in marine and shark conservation and her efforts are recognized worldwide resulting in an international following and many invites to public speak. Her accolades include being an inductee of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, and an Associate Member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, amongst others, see below.
Lesley’s Professional Positions
AfriOceans Conservation Alliance: Founder (2003), Executive Director & Principal Photographer
Blue Pulse Pictures: Director, Producer & Stills Photographer (1996 to date )
Shark Research Institute: Director of Media
Global Ocean: Key Note Speaker
See Lesley’s Awards here