About

The Sea-Change Trust is a not-for-profit organisation mandated to promote and protect our marine and human heritage. Our main aim is to motivate people to reconnect with themselves through deep immersion with nature. We want to start to create a new sea-change – a transformation through knowing our true human relationship with the natural world. We are developing a multi-media project, the Sea-Change Project, that includes a film, a book, courses, photographs and exhibitions that tells the story of the birth of humanity, and the ancient relationship we all have with the sea. Read more To see a trailer for the Sea-Change Project, please see here.

TEAM

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Craig Foster
Director, Trustee

Craig is one of the world’s leading natural history filmmakers, and their films have been seen by millions of people. 
For the past 6 years he has dedicated himself to learning the secrets of the Golden Forest – the inshore kelp habitat at the South West tip of Africa, his underwater home. He is currently working on the Sea-Change film (filming and editing) and co-writing the book, at the same time honouring his pact to dive 365 times a year. Through this regular intensive immersion, he has uncovered a plethora of new animal behaviours and 8 new species of shrimp, one of which has been named after him: Heteromysis Fosteri.
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Carina Rubin-Frankal
Producer, Trustee

As Executive Producer, Carina works with the Sea-Change Trust to implement the goals and objectives of the organisation. 

A fairly new member of the sea-change amphibious tribe, she is hooked on the transformative power of water. She is currently working on the Sea-Change travelling exhibition with augmented reality. A South African and Finnish citizen born in Kingston, Jamaica, brought up in South Africa and educated and worked in the USA, Carina thrives on diversity.

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Ross Frylinck
Director, Writer, Trustee

Ross is a founding director of the Sea-Change Trust. He is a media and events entrepreneur, curator and journalist. 

Together with Craig, he is writing a book on their transformative experiences in the underwater realm on the Cape Peninsula, titled Journey to the Golden Forest, due for publication in 2018. He is a co-founder of the Wavescape Festival which has been running for 14 years as the leading ocean culture and conservation event in South Africa.

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Pippa Ehrlich

Pippa spent much of her childhood in Johannesburg, dreaming of nature. Some of her earliest memories are of wading into the sea at Boulders Beach in Simonstown where she learned to swim. 
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Lisa Beasley

Lisa started diving at 11 years old. She fell in love with the underwater universe instantly and became obsessed with the very tiny and colourful creatures – especially nudibranchs. 
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Dr. Matthew Zylstra

Matthew is an ecologist, educator and enabler working collaboratively with Sea-Change and other organisations through the EarthCollective network. 

As an adult, Pippa set out to explore nature and our relationship with it as humans. Her role as conservation journalist for Save Our Seas Foundation brought her back to the shores of False Bay where she met Ross Frylink and Craig Foster and experienced her first taste of Sea-Change magic. He growing love for the Golden Forest draws her into these cool waters on an almost daily basis where she goes in search of stories that deepen her connection to this incredible wilderness and its weird and wonderful inhabitants.

Returning home in-between contracts flying helicopters and adventures to dive elsewhere, she was always put off from diving in Cape Town by the cold water and thick restrictive wetsuits, until she met the amphibious tribe of Sea- Change. At first she thought it was madness to attempt to dive in these freezing cold waters at all – let alone without a suit, but blown away by the tribes’ incredible passion, dedication and encouragement, and when she realised how many magical, tiny creatures took shelter in the golden forests, she fell in love all over again. Lisa now takes refuge in the ocean and kelp forest everyday, opening to the love, support and teachings it has to offer. “The underwater forest has become a place where I can meet nature as my home. The more I surrender to it and manage to drop my problem solving mind, the more it seems to show me and let me in.”

He is a university field lecturer for Wildlands Studies and facilitates and advises on social-ecological change processes across diverse scales: from individuals to organisations and communities. Matthew completed his PhD through Stellenbosch University’s transdiscplinary doctoral program in sustainability and explored how meaningful nature experience deepens our connectedness and inspires learning and leadership for self and society.

TRIBE

We are the Sea-Change ocean ambassadors. A group of kids and young adults who love the sea. We live in the Western Cape in South Africa and our passion is to explore the rocky coastline and the giant underwater kelp forests. This magical golden kingdom is a haven for millions of amazing animals. It has become our second home. 

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Tom Foster

Tom, Craig’s teenage son, started diving with sharks when he was 4 years old.
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Faine Pearl Loubser

“I lost my heart in the sea, only to find my soul.”
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Scott Ramsay

Scott loves Africa’s wild places, and works as a photographer and writer in conservation and protected areas.
 “Slowly over 8 years I got to know all the shark species that live in the African kelp forest. I know some individual animals by their stripes and their different personalities. After 5 years of diving a few sharks approached me and lay in my arms, they seemed to enjoy my human contact. I got to know a few of the big 3 meter cow sharks very well. One special day just before my thirteenth birthday two of these animals allowed me to gently ride on their backs through the underwater forest. This was my underwater initiation. It changed my life. I feel I’d like to tell the world how amazing sharks are, how they can be so gentle with humans if we treat them right. Sharks are the guardians of the ocean. If we keep up their slaughter there will soon be no oxygen for us to breath on earth. The survival of sharks is directly linked to our Human survival.” Tom recently shared his views and experience, at TEDx Cape Town. watch tom’s TED talk here
Faine is a 20 year old film student at the University of Cape Town with a passion for documentary filmmaking and photography. Faine’s love for the sea was fostered by her dad through many ocean-related adventures. With a deep desire to capture the feeling of being in the ocean, it was the gift of a GoPro that enabled her to share her vision. Camera in hand, Faine would make solo trips into the sea along the Cape Peninsula seeking to capture her underwater world. This mostly included diving without a wetsuit sometimes in temperatures as low as 9ºc. It was a natural progression that Craig Foster, a close family friend, would nurture and mentor Faine’s passion for the sea and unlock a need to explore more, learn more and open up to the incredible mystery of nature. 
His recently published book “South Africa’s Wildest Places” celebrates the country’s 30 most special national parks and nature reserves, and is a 400-page collection of his photography and personal insights from three years of exploring Africa’s most biodiverse nation. He writes and photographs for a number of magazines, newspapers and websites, including British Airways Magazine, Getaway, Wild and Africa Geographic, and he has received the SAB Environmental Media Award and the IUCN World Parks prizes for photography. Most of his photographic work has been above water, but after meeting and becoming friends with Craig Foster, Scott is diving regularly in the waters off the Cape Peninsula, perhaps one of the wildest places in Africa.
“Free diving here is a real immersion in wilderness, and has taught me so much about what it means to be a succesful human animal. Spending lots of time in African wilderness  – especially it’s oceans – has helped me to get to know myself. I have began to see myself as a unique, separate individual, but also as a tiny, inseparable part of the wonderful mystery of the universe. On several occasions I have I felt this incredible connection to all other life on Earth. I’ve never felt more alive and more inspired. I really struggle to understand the modern world sometimes, and these powerful moments of connection are critical touchpoints for my sanity.”
Scott lives between the ocean and mountain on the Cape Peninsula.
See www.LoveWildAfrica.com for more.
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Georgiana ‘Georgi’ Dorward

Georgina, Tom and Epiphany’s classmate at Michael Oak Waldorf School, is an all rounder.
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Epiphany ‘Scuti’ Stransham-Ford

Just 14 years old, Scuti is a young naturalist passionate about exploring the rock-pools and underwater “golden forests” of the Cape.
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Donovan Van der Hayden

Traditional fisherman, community leader and lead actor in the Sea-Change recreation scenes. 
Her interests include rock climbing, photography, piano and free diving. Georgi on her first skindive with Craig: “Then the moment I had been waiting for. It took about 3 minutes to adjust to the cold water. I felt the blood rush around my body, then I experience a 20 minute window of joy where I didn’t have to worry about the cold at all. Because of no wetsuit I felt an incredible connection to the marine world ….. I was present and absorbed….. I was hooked. ” Georgiana’s knowledge in particular of the intertidal zone, amassed in relatively short space of time, is remarkable. Her first public appearance was a joint presentation to a group of Grade 6 learners with Tom and Epiphany at the Two Oceans Aquarium where she talked about cold water adaption and shared her passion in marine biology.
“I started exploring marine life with Craig, a friend of my father’s, as my guide. Before I met Craig, I had no interest in the marine world. That was until I encountered the googly-eyed Klipfish in a rock pool. This curious creature was as much interested in me as I was in him, and he swam right up to me! Much later I discovered that the quirky klipfish is also quite intelligent. This discovery helped me realise that many of the innocuous little creatures in the ocean are a lot more interesting than they look. ” Epiphany is an integral part of the Sea-Change project and is currently visiting schools in the Western Cape, spreading her message of conservation. One of her highlights was meeting Dr Sylvia Earle and being part of the ceremony which declared False Bay a Mission Blue Hope Spot (part of Sylvia Earle’s TED Wish Campaign).
Donovan is a fourth generation descendant from the Hangberg community and is active in establishing the rights of traditional fishermen. As resources dwindle due to commercial fishing and poaching, his community is under pressure. ‘Youngsters are being lured into poaching by the quick money,’ he says. ‘I want to be able to educate them about the importance of conserving the wildlife and remind them of our spiritual connection with the ocean.’ In working with Craig in recreating our roots, Donovan has rekindled his own connection with the ocean, and feels the Sea Change Project can be integral in his quest to teach the youth about their marine heritage, and how to conserve it.

ADVISORS

The Sea-Change Project reflects a number of years of research and development by the Sea-Change directors and partners, guided by some of the most distinguished professionals in the world. Below is an ever-growing list of advisors.

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Dr Megan Biesele

Director of Kalahari Peoples Fund
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Dr. Tony Cunningham

Ethno-ecologist/Applied ecologist
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Prof. Christopher Henshilwood

Archaeologist, Scientist, Project leader and Teacher
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Dr Sylvia A. Earle

National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence
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Prof. Mark Gibbons

Professor at the University of the Western Cape
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Prof. Louis G. Herman

Professor at the University of Hawai’i West-Oahu
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Dr. Peter Nilssen

Archaeologist
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Prof. Charles Griffiths

Director of the UCT Marine Biology Research Centre
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Dr. Niobe Thompson

Anthropologist
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Dr. Tony Ribbink

CEO of Sustainable Seas Trust/Scientist

PARTNERS

We are working with WWF-SASSI and the Mission Blue: Sylvia Earle Alliance to promote Marine Protected Areas, and at this time of mass, human-driven extinction, we believe this is a very relevant agenda.

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