“I’m going on 93, I am more aware than I have ever been all through my life of what a beautiful planet we still have and the peril in which it stands.” ~ Stan Waterman
Eight decades of exploration and knowledgeable humour have made Stan Waterman a star of the diving world, and a fantastic teller of sea tales. There is more to this fearless sea champion, however, than meets the eye. From studying English at Dartmouth alongside Robert Frost to collaborating with Peter Benchley on films, Stan Waterman delivers one incredible tale after another. Stan is an Ocean Author and his two novels Sea Salt and Sea Salt II: More Salt recount the myriad adventures he has experienced all over the world and the events that drove him to become an ocean activist and to champion for sharks, for the ocean, and for the world-being of our planet in general.
“Sharks…,weren’t spontaneous killers…we could co-exist with them in the oceans”
Stan wasn’t always involved in the protection of the ocean. He explains how he began to get involved with the ocean through fishing, before diving became available. Being so close to this amazing marine life, he realized the potential there was to explore and to share this beauty with others. Sharks were especially alluring to Stan, which led him to produce and contribute to a number of underwater films focused on these often ill-portrayed but wonderful creatures. He explains, “those of us who began to go into the sea and wanted to do documentaries, films, and videos that were interesting to the mass audience [discovered that] sharks were a big draw and we began to find that they are intelligent in their own ways, that we could work with them—being very careful to do so—and that they weren’t spontaneous killers and we could coexist with them in the oceans.”
Whether you are reading Stan’s words or listening to his entrancing stories, he has all kinds of sea wisdom to pass down to scuba divers of all ages. With so many years of experience, Stan is more than aware of ocean issues, and he is hopeful that with some changes we can all help save the coral reefs and the larger marine eco-system from their current decline. Tradition or the desire to conduct ‘business as usual’ should not be an impediment, Stan says, and he cites the Caribbean as an example: “[…]all through the islands, where diving has become a big, successful commercial venture, what used to be fishing entirely has turned into the protection of their marine environment for people who come and want to see what is there.” Most of all, Stan wants people of all ages to know that they, too, can get involved, make sustainable choices, become citizen scientists and realize that protecting the ocean is still within our reach if we all do our part.
Inspired by Jacques Cousteau, Stan started scuba diving in the 1950’s.
Stan Waterman has been at the forefront of scuba diving since its inception as a recreational sport both in this country and throughout the world. In the 1950’s, inspired by Jacques Cousteau’s revolutionary invention of the Aqua Lung, Mr. Waterman acquired the first one in Maine and went on to pioneer scuba diving in that state.
Between 1954 and 1958 he operated a dive business in the Bahamas. His first 16mm underwater film on diving was produced during those years. For the next fifteen years, Mr. Waterman continued to record his worldwide journeys and exploits on film and as television documentaries. In 1968 he collaborated with Peter Gimbel on the classic shark film, Blue Water, White Death and was co-director of underwater photography in the production of The Deep, based on Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel.
Mr. Waterman has received numerous honors and most recently has been named to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. The Discovery Channel produced and broadcast a two-hour biographical special about Mr. Waterman, The Man Who Loves Sharks.
Mr. Waterman’s first book, Sea Salt, was published in 2005 and is in its third printing. Mr. Waterman continues to dive, film, lecture, and hosts dive tours.
“You can help and you better … the human race is in peril.”
Stan says “You can help and you better…if you give a hoot about your grandchildren and your great grandchildren it is coming fast enough to impact very heavily on them. Make your move…because not just the planet, but the human race is in peril.”
To learn more about Stan and his lifetime of fascinating experiences listen to his entire interview by visiting Stan at Blue Ocean Summit 2015: Stan Waterman. Read more about Stan’s career as an Ocean Author and to support the Blue Ocean community, order his books and underwater films and to see our directory of underwater books and film titles visit the Store.
Another of our Summit 2015 speakers is Wendy Benchley. Co-founder of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards, Wendy Benchley has shepherded this annual event into the ‘Academy Awards of the Ocean’. The awards are named in celebration of the life and legacy of her husband, late author of ‘Jaws’ and lifelong marine conservationist Peter Benchley. The awards serve as a valuable platform to bring together world leaders, scientists, and policymakers to elevate the marine conservation conversation on the global agenda and move it forward. Read Wendy’s entire article “The Next Eight Decades” at Ocean Profiles: Wendy Benchley.