thomaspeschak thomaspeschak

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Thomas Peschak  National Geographic Photographer // Associate Director Manta Trust // Senior Fellow - iLCP

A large green turtle and a marine iguana are carried along the rocky reef by a strong submarine current. Both species feed on algae, but while the turtle can forage all day long, the iguana's seaweed feast is time limited. Despite being spread across the equator, the ocean off the Galápagos Islands can be incredibly cold. Marine iguanas only last an hour or two in the before they have to return to land to rewarm themselves. If they stay in the ocean too long they become sluggish and risk death. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for a forthcoming story on Climate Change and the Galápagos Islands. In collaboration with @darwinfound #galapagosnationalpark @pelayosalinas and @ecuadortravel Please follow them for more images and information about the Galápagos Islands. #allyouneedisecuador

My photograph of a pod of pelagic dolphins traversing an offshore gas field is one of the most poignant climate change images I have taken. The juxtaposition of marine biodiversity and industry on the high seas encapsulates the dangers of climate change on our marine ecosystems.

While natural gas is cleaner burning than coal, predicted CO2 emissions will still remain too high to prevent ocean acidification, sea level rise, disruption of upwelling currents and generally warmer seawater temperatures. All of which can negatively impact on the health and ecology of ocean wildlife.

Only by embracing renewable energy sources (solar, wind, tides, waves, geothermal) will we be able to ensure that our oceans remain healthy and thus in turn continue to sustain humanity on our blue planet.
For the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour, I’m joining the #MakeClimateMatter online community.  Earth Hour is the world’s biggest movement for action on climate change. Sign up to take part on 25th March at 8.30pm at

Humpback whales bubble-net feed on herring around Gill Island in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest. Situated deep in the heart of Gitga'at First Nations territory, this marine realm is one of the most critical whale habitats in North America. #canada #whales #greatbearrainforest #cetacealab @pacificwild

African Black Oystercatchers breed during the height of South Africa’s summer. They lay their eggs in a shallow scrape in the sand or on bare rocks, making them vulnerable to human disturbance. A 4x4 off-road beach-driving ban in 2002 has alleviated much of the stress on the oystercatcher populations. The waiting game for this photograph lasted hours until the tide was just right. This pair arrived to feed on the wave washed rocks just as I was on the verge of giving up. Malgas Island, West Coast National Park, South Africa. #wowsouthafrica

There are few places on this planet where dramatic waterfalls pour directly into the ocean. Waterfall Bluff on the Wild Coast of South Africa is one of them. During the rainy season strands of rivers on the coastal platform braid together and race towards the Indian Ocean. Whether you hike to the base of the falls or opt for an aerial experience, this natural wonder is a reminder of the importance of protected areas. Waterfall Bluff, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, South Africa. #wowsouthafrica

Every winter southern right whales arrive along the South African coast to mate and give birth. The De Hoop Marine Reserve is the most important southern right whale sanctuary in Africa and is a real highlight to visit. Up to 350 whales have been known to frequent this protected area at any one time. To get this shot I joined nature conservation officials in a small helicopter to survey marine wildlife from the air. De Hoop Marine Protected Area, Western Cape, South Africa #wowsouthafrica

Photograph by @thomaspeschak A curious African Penguin inspects my camera as I lie as motionless as possible near the summit of Mercury Island. This isolated outpost off Namibia's desert coast is a hotspot for seabirds and the centerpiece of the Namib Islands Marine Protected Area. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thomaspeschak

Twenty five miles offshore from South Africa's Cape Point lies the Canyon, a deep water feature that reliable draws tuna, sharks and seabirds. Long-finned Pilot whales are a rarer sight and I have only encountered them there twice in 15 years. The seabed around the canyon is probably rich in squid, which makes up more 80% of these whale's diet. Despite being called whales, they are actually one of the largest members of the dolphin family. We don't know much about this pelagic deep water habitat and protective measures are minimal. However in the face of the ever increasing global footprint of offshore mining we need to remedy these marine conservation deficits urgently. @natgeo @natgeocreative

A dusky shark punches through a baitball of sardines, hoping that some fish break rank and become easier to catch. This photograph is for fellow shark conservationist and photographer Rob Stewart @teamsharkwater who is still missing at sea after a deep dive in the Florida Keys searching for critically endangered sawfish. Anybody with access to boats, helicopters, airplanes in the Keys or who wants to help fund the search efforts should follow the link below my bio.

SHARK NIGHT These young Galapagos sharks were already super abundant during the day, but I had a hunch they would be even more prolific after dark. Sliding into the inky depths of Bassas da India's lagoon in the middle of the night was a surreal experience. A cinematic movie light, hung off a long aluminum pole (formerly the handle of a swimming pool strainer) and now imaginatively rigged to a sputtering generator on our small rubber boat, provided the only illumination. For hours I photographed countless of these sharks waltz in and out of the light. To fit the Instagram format this picture shows two individual vertical frames, shot minutes apart, side by side. Coverage from my @natgeo magazine story A Tale of Two Atoll's. #taaf #mozambiquechannel #sharks @thephotosociety @natgeocreative

Back at home, hanging with Hugo, Blue, Luna and Sunnye. Some years I am away on assignment shooting for more than 250 days, so time at my studio in a small mountain village, a few hours outside of Cape Town is always precious. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety

This gigantic constantly shape shifting school of jacks/trevally inhabits the rich waters of Cabo Pulmo Marine Reserve. The dorsal fins of the uppermost fish break the oceans surface while deepest fish scrape their bellies on the sandy seabed 20 m below. Shot on assignment for @natgeo magazine for a forthcoming story on Baja California Marine Reserves. In partnership with @maresmexicanos #mexico #cabopulmo #baja #conservation @thephotosociety @natgeocreative

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