By Richard Nimmo, Blue Ventures Expeditions Managing Director

Former Blue Ventures Field Scientist and Dive Instructor, Samantha Hewitt, has dreamt about passing on her passion for marine life and sea conservation and finally realised it with the launch of her brand new magazine at the London Sea Life Aquarium.

(From left to right): Theo Paphitis, Samantha Hewitt and Stacey Solomon

Samantha was supported at the event by friends and family and with a little help from her sister, the singer Stacey Solomon and Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis, the launch showed off the magazine’s pilot for the very first time.

The magazine is a great read for children, covering all aspects of sea life and conservation. With information on marine species, diving and also fun games, tests and competitions, the magazine aims to spark a sense of adventure and curiosity in children, as well teaching them about the importance of marine conservation.

The Sea Urchins pilot issue is available free to visitors at Sea Life’s 11 UK aquariums during November and December ( and also as a free download from the Sea Urchins’ website ( Sea Urchins will launch with its first full issue in February 2012 and is available to order as a quarterly subscription from now.

Gil with Finn the shark

Also in attendance at the launch were the PADI team from Project Aware with Finn, one of the sharks who is helping raise awareness of the plight of the world’s sharks from overfishing. My son Gil (left) got in on the publicity act and had his photo taken with Finn. You can help Project Aware’s campaign to apply pressure to decision makers with the aim of giving Sharks international protection by signing their petition here

Blue Ventures has been working since 2006 to monitor the shark fisheries of the west coast of Madagascar. Demand for shark fin from Asian markets has resulted in many Malagasy fishers focusing on landing sharks. With our data we hope to add to the weight of evidence that sharks need protection and that urgent action is required to prevent mass extinctions of many shark species.

Posted by Richard Nimmo

Richard is our managing director, based in London. He first joined BV as a volunteer with an expedition to Andavadoaka, Madagascar in 2004. He was so moved by this experience that shortly after returning to London, he left his career in commercial broadcasting and went back to Andavadoaka as expeditions manager. After a year in Madagascar, Richard moved to our London office as managing director of expeditions.

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