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The Shark and Coral Conservation Trust
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Who we are

Commodore Chris Palmer CBE, FCMI, FRaeS
Commodore Chris Palmer CBE, FCMI, FRaeS
in 1954 as a grandson of the sea (his Grandfather was a sailing barque captain out of Fowey), Chris first donned an "aqualung" in Salcombe harbour in 1969. Graduating from the University of Southampton (Physics) he joined the Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) and travelled to most corners of the globe and experienced many forms of marine life, but particularly sharks and whales. Whilst serving as the Commander at Britannia Royal Naval College one of his subordinates was a rather bizarre Royal Marine to whom, for some reason, most of the wives found attractive! Monty Halls Jr's career came to a rapid end and he became a marine biologist, the rest is history! Having completed his own career in the Royal Navy Chris finds himself in the not-for-profit sector and able to turn his mind to things that interest him - The Shark and Coral Conservation Trust is one that he feels deserves all of our attention and support.

Monty Halls Junior
Monty Halls Junior
Monty Junior was born in 1966 and, at the age of 17 took himself off to Tasmania where his interest in sports diving and all matters marine (especially the shark) blossomed. He returned to the UK in 1985 and joined the Royal Marines where he achieved the rank of Major. On leaving the RM, he obtained a first-class honours degree in marine biology at PlymouthUniversity and set up his diving expedition company (Full Circle Expeditions Ltd) in 1998. Monty is a well-qualified sports diving instuctor and has become a 'leading light' in the sports diving world. He has also become one of the UK's top public and celebrity speakers (see link below). He took part in (and won !!) a Channel Four challenge called 'Superhumans' in 2004 where ITV recognised a budding TV presenter talent. His next BBC2 programme series covering the life of an inshore Cornish fishing community should be on the screens some time in 2012. This series should be augmented by a major BBC series on the Great Barrier Reef - also due for screening some time in 2012
Steve Horton
Provides financial advice to the Board
Dr Bob Weston
Provides scientific, technical and communications advice to the Board
Jonathon Siegle
Provides Tustee mentor advice to both SCCT Board and management.
Dr Joanne Skerry
Provides IT, educational and business advice to the Board.
David Brocklebank
Provides maritime and public affairs advice to the Board
Isobel Harper
Provides scientific and admin support advice to the Board
Cdr Danny Stembridge
Provides project coordination advice to the Board
Steve Horton
Steve Horton
Trustee Board Chairman - Financial Advisor

Steve is a Chartered Accountant and Financial Advisor. He is a partner in Milsted Langdon Chartered Accountants and runs their financial services company specialising in Wealth Management. He has many years experience advising family owned businesses on tax, financial and commercial issues. He now concentrates on the areas of pensions and investment.

Steve has previously been local chairman and regional treasurer for Young Enterprise, a voluntary body which provides experience of the world of business to young people aged 14 - 19. He is also trustee of a local charitable trust which supports education and the arts.

Dr Bob Weston
Dr Bob Weston
Technical and Communications Advisor

Bob was originally trained as a physicist and has various degrees and diplomas in physics, electronics and nuclear science. He spent a total of 17 years as an officer in the Royal Navy before upping sticks and setting off to live and work around the world. At various times he was General Manager of a training company in the UAE and Head of Technical Training for a large oil company. He has also worked in some far less exotic places, including a year spent in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Now semi-retired, Bob is happily settled in Cornwall.

Jonathan Siegle
Jonathan Siegle
Board / Management co-ordinator and administrative advisor

Born, brought up and educated in Birmingham, Jon trained as a dentist at Guy's Hospital, London gaining his LDS RCS in 1966. Soon after qualifying he moved to Somerset and spent over 30 years in general practice in Yeovil, retiring in 2001.

A past Chairman of the local branch of the British Heart Foundation, since retiring, Jon has been a voluntary ranger at Ham Hill Country Park undertaking conservation work. Last year he went to Kenya working for the Wishing for a Well Appeal, helping to install pumps for wells and will be going again in 2007.

A keen sportsman and lover of the outdoors, Jon has always been interested in conservation and the natural environment.

Dr Joanne Skerry
Dr Joanne Skerry
IT, Educational and Business Advisor

Jo is head of educational transformation for a global consulting firm and advises on a programme of education and relationships with the business community.

Jo is also a novice diver and takes a keen interest in marine biology.

David Brocklebank
David Brocklebank
Maritime and Public Affairs Advisor

Born on Merseyside, David served eight years in the Royal Navy as aircrew and air traffic controller, including service on board the UK's last conventional aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal in the 1970s. He has worked in the aerospace and defence industry since 1981, travelling widely, including a four year spell living and working in France.

He is the owner/managing director of an interim management business, founded in 1998, specialising in aerospace and defence requirements. A MCA/RYA Commercial Yachtmaster, David has cruised and raced offshore for more than fifteen years, including crossings of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

He is also a qualified sports diver, seeing at first hand the impact of climate change on the tropical underwater environment.

Isobel Harper
Isobel Harper
Project Management and Administrative Support

Isobel has been doing Company Secretarial work for many years for a number of small companies. She and her family moved to Devon from London in 2000. As her children are now growing up, she has a bit more time to herself and has been studying with the Open University since early 2008, her aim being to achieve an Honours Degree in Life or Natural Sciences.

Monty Halls Senior
Monty Halls Senior
Manager - Shark and Coral Conservation (DEEP Facilitator) - Website/Charity Co-ordinator

Navigator and Air Traffic Control Officer for 23 years. Thereafter he had a spell with BAE in Saudi Arabia followed by work with SITA, the communications organisation serving the IATA airlines. He then set up his own home-based letting business which he operated as a sole trader for some 10 years. After selling the business, he joined the United Nations to serve in Bosnia supervising the post-war elections.

After a brief spell with the Royal Navy at RNAS Yeovilton, he retired and took up an interest in his son's diving and media career. This was the catalyst to an interest in marine conservation.

Jane Keylock
Jane Keylock
SCCT Exeter Support

Having completed degrees in Human Biology and Dietetics, Jane worked for six years addressing acute malnutrition in humanitarian crises, mainly in East Africa and South Asia, through directly implementing programmes and providing technical support to government health departments.

Since returning to the UK, she has worked with a research company mapping humanitarian financing and is currently studying Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Exeter.

As well as having a keen interest in the natural environment, Jane is particularly concerned with how the growing global population can be fed without harming, and possibly even restoring it.

Pearl Cousins
Pearl Cousins
SCCT Bristol Support

Pearl's interest in marine and coastal matters began during her BSc Zoology studies at the University of Liverpool and which led on to her completing an MSc in Tropical Coastal Management at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Pearl has worked mostly in the environmental consultancy sector for the UK and Hong Kong branches of Atkins where she has specialized in environmental impact assessments, environmental monitoring and audit and has worked on various marine and coastal projects involving such services. Pearl has also recently worked as an Environmental Specialist for the Oman Drydock Company as part of the Port of Duqm development in the Sultanate of Oman.

She is a qualified Sports Diver and is passionate about marine conservation. Pearl is based in Bristol and is exploring opportunities in the marine and coastal field.

Dr Sarah Hamylton
Dr Sarah Hamylton
SCCT Australia Support

Sarah's interest in the ocean stems from her research into the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) to the study of tropical coastal systems (coral reefs, mangroves, sea grasses). In particular, Sarah is interested in the development of models to further our understanding of how coastlines (particularly reef platforms and reef islands) will respond to environmental change over the next century. Sarah has worked in Fiji, Thailand, the Philippines, the Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belize and New Caledonia.

Having completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK, Sarah is now applying her modelling techniques to Australian reef systems.

Janice Savill
Janice Savill
Manager - Administrative and Scientific Programme (DEEP) support

Jan has an extensive background in Medical Microbiology and Haematology with many years experience in the NHS and Canadian laboratories. Since retirement she has run a successful business in Somerset and enjoys freelance writing.
Monty Halls Senior
Manager - DEEP facilitator and website/charity co-ordinator.
Janice Savill
Manager - Administration and scientific expedition (DEEP) programme support.
Nicola Hills
Project implementation Support
Ingrid Kvale
Independent natural history film TV producer /director
Jane Keylock
Exeter University - International food security.
Pearl Cousins
SCCT Bristol co-ordinator - Marine Ecology - Impact Assessments

About the Shark and Coral Conservation Trust (SCCT)


SHARK DEPLETION / CORAL REEF DETERIORATION CASCADE

Shark and Coral Conservation - DEEP - cascade diagram

In the light of some convincing scientific reports over the last three or four years we are increasingly persuaded that there is a direct linkage between the deterioration in the world's coral reef sytems and the depletion in the number of sharks. Not only is the shark the top predator within a coral reef system but he is also a prime scavenger - - - keeping the sea clear of rotting carcases. In the absence of the shark two main effects 'cascade' downwards:

a. Sub-species which are the normal prey for the shark multiply and are all-too-often sea-bed foragers. This has the effect of 'cleaning out' the sea-bed bio-diversity (oysters.clams and scallops). The 100-year old scallop industry of Nova Scotia has collapsed as a result of this 'cascade' effect. There is a similar coral reef deterioration in the Northern half of the Red Sea. The exponential explosion of the Humboldt squid in the Sea of Cortez is probably directly attributable to the depletion of the hammerhead shark in the area.

b. Oceanic pollution increases dramatically as a result of an increase in 'lingering' organic detritus remaining from 'unscavenged' naturally-occuring fish and mammal mortality. The overall effect is for the marine pollution levels to rise quite dramatically and is often accompanied by an increase in algae. The virtual collapse of the Caribbean reef system is almost certainly attributable to over fishing of the shark and other species with the resultant algal increase in these waters, effectively 'stifling' coral polyps reproduction..

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has prioritized research into coral health but has .so far, attributed the deterioration to climate change and sea warming. Whilst we agree that these are important long-term issues, our belief is that the major and most immediate cause of coral reef deterioration is the over-predation of the shark and ocean acidification. Significantly, there is no equivalent 'prioritized' UNEP programme for research into shark conservation and coral deterioration linkage and this is where our priority lies - - - apply as much world-wide pressure as possible for an equivalent UNEP 'prioritized' research programme into the cascade-linkage of shark predation with sub-species 'explosions' and the resultant coral deterioration. (Please refer to the 'Articles' menu item for the scientific input supporting our 'cascade' ideas).

The Shark and Coral Conservation Trust (SCCT) Aim

To promote for the benefit of the public the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of sharks and coral reef eco-systems and marine biological diversity.

The 'enabling objectives' of the SCCT
1. To attract sufficient funding, scientific and media support to facilitate a research and education programme which will serve to realign UNEP priorities towards top priority for ocean acidification, the calcification process and shark conservation.

2. To assist with the organisation, funding and constitution of media-supported research expeditions (1) to areas of the world most critically affected by the depletion/deterioration 'cascade' effect.

3. To maintain 'lobby pressure' on diplomatic and political authorities until the UNEP priorities are changed (to an upgrade of shark conservation).

4. To ensure that the rate of human predation of shark species never exceeds the capacity of that species to reproduce - - in other words to ensure shark sustainability (some local human predation may be necessary for reef-dependent community survival).

5. To encourage and support scientific research programmes which have the effect of proving the shark depletion 'cascade /coral reef calcification capillary and  'cascade' linkage.Notes:

(1) These expeditions would be mounted on a 'non-missionary' and two-way information exchange basis and would concentrate on scientifically-robust and objective reporting to the UNEP Commission on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Please visit the 'Latest News' section of the menu for details of expeditions currently planned.