Dive Expedition and TBA21–Academy Symposium
August 11, 2014
Ideas Campus of UCLA, Los Angeles


As part of the newly established Dardanella Dialogues output strand, TBA21–Academy convened a symposium of shark conservationists in Los Angeles. This event took place at the Ideas Campus of UCLA on August 11, 2014. The symposium was accompanied by a dive expedition around Catalina Island. The aim of our efforts was to bring forward the Pelagic Research & Conservation Project for Isla del Coco and highlight the activities of shark conservation initiatives in the Eastern Pacific.

The expedition around Catalina Island allowed us to experience the wonderful Californian underwater world with its magic kelp forest and vast marine life. We dove and snorkelled with leopard sharks, seals and many other fantastic marine animals.

The unique combination of world-renowned shark specialists, marine biologists, activists and conservationists on board the Dardanella facilitated a great networking opportunity. Fruitful discussions lay the ground for future collaborations and marine conservation projects and provided valuable input to our Pelagic Research and Conservation Project for Isla del Coco & Shark Conservation.

The exciting and inspiring week concluded on August 11, 2014 with a cutting-edge highlight: the TBA21–Academy symposium Pelagic Research and Conservation Project for Isla del Coco & Shark Conservation at UCLA’s Ideas Campus in Los Angeles.

By bringing together leading shark researchers, marine biologists, conservationists, underwater photographers and videographers and thinkers the TBA21–Academy built bridges between organizations pursuing similar goals. The TBA21–Academy is proud to have hosted professionals from the organizations Mission BlueFAICOPretomaMission TiburonSeamastersWater Inspired and Shark Angels during this unique event. In addition conservation activists Pete Bethune and Captain Chris Wade offered a further hands-on perspective on shark conservation.

The symposium highlighted a ground-breaking partnership between art and conservation and established future links between art and the environment. Shark conservation is not only a local challenge, it’s an international one. By joining forces we will strengthen our commitment to saving sharks throughout the Eastern Pacific region and beyond.

Please also see TBA21–Academy hosts Shark Symposium for an Article on our Symposium on the Mission Blue Website.