Jan. 18, 2013 – Sea Shepherd is honored to welcome Enzo Maiorca and his daughter Patrizia Maiorca to Sea Shepherd’s International Board of Advisors. Enzo is known throughout the Mediterranean as the King of the Abyss. He is a legendary, multiple record holding free diver, having set several world records during his diving career. French film director Luc Besson was so inspired by the life of Enzo Maiorca that he made a film called The Big Blue inspired by Enzo Maiorca and the world of competitive free diving.
During Operation Blue Rage, Sea Shepherd’s campaign to defend Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean, the SSS Steve Irwin docked in Syracuse, Sicily. There, Captain Watson met Enzo Maiorca and they exchanged a handshake that marked a milestone in the history of the oceans. The legendary free diver shared a profound experience he had while in the ocean:
“Years ago, while we were diving, a male dolphin guided my daughters Rossana and Patrizia, and myself, almost leading us by our hands, and gave us the chance to save a female dolphin who was tangled up in the meshes of a swordfish net. I maintain that his brain waves influenced our minds. What is certain is that our arms were the stretcher by means of which we carried that poor exhausted animal, wracked by contractions, to the surface. As soon as she was on the surface, after breathing out foam and blood, she gave birth to a dolphin calf under the watchful eyes of her mate. The little one was led to his mama’s nipples by gentle strokes of the adult dolphin’s beak. I like to think that on that day we reunited a family. Such rage permeated my being when I became aware of the illegal mass slaughter of cetaceans in Taiji, along with the one perpetrated illegally by the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, that I can only condemn – without any extenuating circumstances – those pirates of the Rising Sun, real pirates who bring death and irremediable destruction to the seas of this world.”
Enzo’s daughter Patrizia, a world champion free diver herself, also became a member of Sea Shepherd’s Board of Advisors. An environmentalist working tirelessly to recover discarded nets, which continue to kill wildlife in our oceans, Patrizia met Captain Peter Hammarstedt of the SSS Bob Barker, at the Festival Vegetariano in Gorizia, Italy. “Enzo and Patrizia once told me that the reason they can never stop free diving, is that those precious minutes underwater is when they are most at peace. As they reach their greatest depths, they find themselves surrounded by blue on all sides, and time slows down, reminding them that they are a part of the natural world, not something separate from it. It is my hope, that as members of the Sea Shepherd Board of Advisors, they will feel like they are surrounded by that big blue all of the time”, said Captain Hammarstedt.
“We are proud to have the living history of free diving on our international team, and we are confident that, thanks to these ambassadors of the deep blue, our oceans will be more and more staunchly defended and protected even in their most remote corner, for the generations to come, said Andrea Morello, Coordinator for Sea Shepherd Italy. Welcome aboard, Enzo and Patrizia!