We tell stories that connect people to the wild, motivating them to become part of the regeneration of our planet.
Storytelling for Ocean Protection
We are a team of media and science professionals dedicated to connecting people to the wild through incredible stories backed by scientific knowledge. Our goal is to contribute to the long-term protection of South Africa’s marine environment by making the Great African Seaforest a global icon. Our work includes films, books, exhibitions, marine biology research through living science, and impact campaigns.
Craig Foster and Ross Frylinck founded the Sea Change Trust in 2012. Through hundreds of hours of underwater exploration, they and the Sea Change team have come to understand this unique environment and the community of creatures that lives within it. We also support the call to sustainably increase South Africa’s marine protected areas (MPAs).
Our team’s discoveries have led to a groundbreaking sequence in the BBC’s Blue Planet II TV series; an outdoor photography exhibition seen by an estimated 1 million people; the book Sea Change (released globally as Underwater Wild in November 2021); and a documentary feature film, My Octopus Teacher, which has won many international awards.
We have also discovered many new species and animal behaviours and contributed towards, as well as conducted, foundational marine biology research.
Our entire wellbeing is dependent on the natural world. For humans to be healthy, the air, oceans, forests, and all the varied and wonderful beings that we share this planet with need to be healthy.
The Sea Change Project hopes to convey this message through storytelling based on science and direct, immersive experiences in the Great African Seaforest. We hope our stories, knowledge and love of this environment can play a part in rewarming the human heart to the natural world and motivate action that allows the living planet to thrive and regenerate itself.
The Sea Change Project
Co-Founder / Naturalist
Filmmaker / Nature Journalist
Pippa Ehrlich is the co-writer, editor, and director of My Octopus Teacher – South Africa’s first Netflix Original documentary. For the last five years, she has been a part of the Sea Change Project, exploring the underwater forests of Cape Town, directing the film, and editing the Sea Change book. The film has garnered attention from celebrities, conservationists, and scientists all over the world, has been nominated for an Oscar, and already received more than 20 international awards, including the prestigious Wildscreen Golden Panda, Jackson Wild’s Grand Teton, the IDA’s Pare Lorentz, the PGA for best Documentary Motion Picture, and a BAFTA.
Prior to joining Sea Change, Pippa worked as an environmental journalist, specialising in the field of marine science and conservation and the intersection between people and the natural world. She has worked with some of the world’s top marine researchers and underwater photographers and been an avid freediver for more than a decade.
Jannes is a marine biologist holding a Masters and Doctoral degree from the University of Cape Town. His interests and talents in the field of natural history are broad and span from documentary photography and film to ecological biodiversity research and conservation. Within the Sea Change Project, Jannes works at the science-media interface as a creative scientific advisor. Jannes’ deepest passion is to learn directly from nature and to turn discoveries into knowledge, a skill that is essential both in marine biology and in storytelling.
Having spent thousands of hours in and near the water with Craig and the team, Jannes is also directing Sea Change Science Marine Biology Lab and is leading the Sea Change Project’s research activities in the Great African Seaforest.
Chris joined the Sea Change Trust as Chairman in 2020 and brings a strong passion for wilderness conservation and strategic conservation initiatives in the not-for-profit space. He is deeply interested in building local and global collaborative initiatives around the importance of biodiversity and especially marine recovery zones.
Chris is the founder and CEO of Future Purpose, a leadership and career advisory firm which he established after having worked in the leadership and talent management space for more than 20 years.
He was previously a Global Partner with Executive Search firm Spencer Stuart, where he assisted local and global companies in appointing senior executives and Board members.
Before joining Spencer Stuart, Chris was one of the founding Directors of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (1998 – 2002) where he was Director of Executive Education and Head of the Global Executive Development Programme. At GIBS he worked with international business schools and academics in designing cutting-edge executive programmes for South African executives.
His interest in all aspects of leadership, strategic negotiations and executive decision making was developed during his diplomatic career and during which time he represented South Africa in numerous capacities which included five years in New York at the SA Mission to the United Nations, four years working on developing relations with Central Europe and Russia and five years in Paris where he was Counsellor and then Deputy Ambassador to France.
He is Chairman of the Natures Valley Trust which is an NGO dedicated to conservation, conservation education for local communities, marine science and biodiversity research in the Tsitsikamma National Park and the adjacent coastal region of the Western Cape.
He serves on the Board of Columba Leadership which is a South African NGO dedicated to building values based leadership in more than 230 schools across the country.
We work closely with local government, major academic institutions, strategic partners and individuals who share our vision to protect one of Earth’s last wild places, the Great African Seaforest. Here are some of them:
PROF. CHARLES GRIFFITHS
PROF. CHRIS HENSHILWOOD
DR. KERRY SINK
DR. JENNIFER MATHER