Lesley Rochat isn’t afraid of a little exposure. After all, the South Africa-based environmentalist IS a former lingerie and swimsuit model who in the past hasn’t been shy about lending her image and body to the cause of shark awareness. Tuesday, she spoke exclusively with Examiner.com about the shoot.
Several years ago, she was photographed swimming and snorkeling with various sharks wearing nothing but her bikini. Now, she’s taken things a step further taking off ALL of her clothes for a new poster campaign designed to draw awareness to the situation with the South African shark population being destroyed by fishing nets.
“I don’t have issues taking my clothes off,” she explains. “and when it’s to help the sharks, I’m happy to do it.” Rochat, a member of the Women Scuba Divers Hall of Fame, is also known as the “Shark Warrior” in the scuba diving and environmental industries. She is a frequent speaker who is passionate about saving the world’s shark populations.
“These nets are wiping out our tiger shark population, which people come from all over the world to dive with. They are of high value in the shark diving eco-tourism industry,” she adds.
For the poster, Rochat was photographed, naked, in some of the same nets the tiger sharks in South Africa encounter on a regular basis. Rochat admits the shoot was a bit of a challenge. “It’s an unnatural thing being underwater, without air, entangled in a net. It gave me a chance to experience exactly how the sharks must feel as they are trapped in the nets drowning.”
Rochat is a two-time Panda Award winner, a documentary filmmaker, campaigner, public speaker, renowned underwater photographer, writer and activist. For more information about the latest shark awareness campaign, go to www.LesleyRochat.com