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Photographer of the Week – Tom Vierus
By Daniel Norwood, April 18, 2019 @ 04:00 AM (EST)

A group of reef sharks swimming along the Shark Reef in Fiji

Photography plays a crucial role in engaging the public in conservation efforts, and marine biologist Tom Vierus has made it his job to help scientists and NGOs tell their various stories in a visually appealing way. After he graduated as a tropical marine ecologist specializing in shark ecology in 2016, Tom’s fieldwork took him to a remote bay in Fiji, where he studied a shark nursery area and fell in love with the Pacific island and its surrounding underwater world. Using images taken during the project, Tom won the German Prize for Science Photography, and this led him to pursue his passion for photographic and film work full time.

Since moving permanently to Fiji in 2018, he has been busy working on assignments in various locations across the Pacific and has put together a collection of excellent images along the way. Unsurprisingly, many of these shots are of big sharks and stunning reefs in his new homeland, where he has been diving with Beqa Adventure Divers in Pacific Harbour to document the shark ecotourism company and its ongoing studies and conservation initiatives in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve.

Whatever it is that Tom is taking pictures of, the overall theme is always the same: promoting the conservation of the environment and helping work towards its future protection.

Bull sharks in Fiji’s Shark Reef Marine Reserve

A shark scientist releases a juvenile blacktip reef shark back into the waters off Moorea, French Polynesia

A vibrant coral reef at Komodo National Park in Indonesia

A healthy Acropora reef at the edge of the Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands

A beautiful and diverse coral reef in the waters of Tanna, Vanuatu

An old American tank that was sunk after abandoning a US military base on Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu—the dive site is today known as “The Million Dollar Point”

A group of large pink whiprays gather in a lagoon off Moorea, French Polynesia

A gray reef shark and two divers during a baited shark dive in Fiji

A blacktip reef shark is freed from a gillnet by scientists before undergoing a few tests and being released

Part of Tom’s work is also to document the decline of the oceans, such as this largely dead coral reef in the shallow waters off Fiji’s Coral Coast

Tom Vierus

To find out more about Tom’s latest projects and view his filmwork, head over to his extensive website at www.tomvierus.com. You can also follow him on Instagram, or check out his blog, www.livingdreams.tv.


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