15 imagesThere is a timeless rhythm between the sands of the Sahara and deep blue of the Red Sea. Where the hues of the sunrise and sunsets shift and illuminate the footsteps of the Pharaohs. Above the ground, a popular revolution drags on. The ancient city of Thebes and Valley of the Kings have become devoid of the archeological tourist. Below the sea, life goes on, unaware of the turmoil above. Dramatic depths and blue abyss, offer shelter to a thriving and fragile reef community.
11 imagesLocated off the western coast of Thailand, the Similan Islands National Marine Park is a global hotspot of tropical coral reef biodiversity. The name 'Similan' translates into 'Nine' in the local Moken (sea gypsy) dialect and reflects the main islands within the protected area. Jacques Cousteau once described this area as one of the planet's most prolific reef eco-systems, including discovering it's most famous dive site, Richilieu Rock. Much has changed in the decades following his visit. Today, it is subject to a number of outside pressures, both man-made and environmental. Overfishing is a serious problem, with the numbers of fish declining dramatically in recent years; once large schools of barracuda, trevally, emperor and snapper have almost dissappeared. Additionaly, in 2004 the area was hit directly by the tsunami which devastated the region and was subject to a mass coral bleaching event during the last El Nino. The growth in tourism has had mixed effects; bringing much needed jobs and industry to the area, but exerting enormous pressure on the fragile eco-systems. A well developed diving industry brings in divers by the thousands each year. As in other developing nations, not all place an emphasis on conservation and good diving practice. It's very common to see groups touching or damaging marine life. This influx of people brings enormous human waste with it and authorities in the area struggle to maintain coordinated policies. Without serious intervention from the international community and in particular, the divers who spend their tourist dollars there, this unique marine eco-system will be lost.
66 imagesAn on-going repository for the fractions of life that keep it all humble. And most importantly, the many paths we cross with those who change our way.