Katerina Topouzoglou and All For Blue4 min read

When I first met Katerina, almost ten years ago in Mykonos island, she was an active and enthusiastic young girl, who impressed you with her authentic smile, her honesty and kindness and her warm hug.

Her love for the sea, the sharks and the children wowed you! Her achievements since then are many & important: I was admiring her for her charity activities, she was donating all the fish she caught to homeless people in Athens – she was a champion in spearfishing for years – and she was cooking for them too and she took long trips all around the world during winter time, to swim together her favourite creatures… the sharks! Her activities were so special and awesome for a girl of her age, that you were sure that she is capable for even more outstanding feats.

After all those years, I realised that the sea is like second home for her, and that she is really happy only when she finds herself inside it.

During these 10 years Katerina accomplished the following:

  • Shark Biology & Conservation course – Cornell University 2017
  • World Champion in Underwater Target Shooting – Italy 2016
  • European Champion in Underwater Target Shooting – Italy 2016
  • Award “Woman Of The Year” – LIFESTYLE magazine 2010
  • Award “Outstanding Contribution” Underwater Clean Ups – Mykonos 2013
  • Award “World Champion” – Greek Federation of Underwater Sports 2017
  • Award “Outstanding Contribution” Shark Awareness & Athlete – Deep Magazine 2017
  • Freediving Instructor – PADI, CMAS, FDI
  • Scuba Diving Instructor – PADI
  • Shark Feeding course – Bahamas 2011
  • Organiser of worldwide Beach & Underwater Clean Ups
  • Lecturer of worldwide Shark Aware & Ocean Conservation seminars
  • World traveller

 

Since 2017, she is the founder and financial supporter of “All For Blue”:

All For Blue is an international, nonprofit organization which is dedicated to the protection of the oceans and its inhabitants, particularly sharks. With our Beach and Underwater Cleanups we aspire to restore the purity of the waters – not only in Greece, but also in other countries surrounded by seas and oceans. To date, Katerina and her team have taken 127 tons (!) of trash out of the ocean during organized cleanups, and a countless quantity in non-organized ones.

With our Shark Awareness & Ocean Conservation Seminars, we aim to educate future generations about the crucial role of sharks in the ecosystem, thus preparing the citizens of Tomorrow for a big challenge: the conservation of the most important  life source on our planet.

All For Blue seminars aim to raise shark conservation awareness for new generations, changing the wrong impression of this wonderful species.

 

Did you know that:

100 million sharks are being killed every year!

They are vulnerable to overfishing, they are slow-growing and slow to reproduce. That’s why this wonderful species is endangered.

 

 

Do you also know that:

There are 506 species of sharks, the smallest of them fits in your palm, while the largest one is the whale shark and can reach up to 20m.

There are 47 species of sharks in the Mediterranean Sea, of which 36 live in Greece, including tope.

Sharks play a critical role in keeping our seas and oceans healthy and in balance. Since they are known as “garbage disposals” which means that they are mainly fed with garbage and sick or weak fish, making them the official “cleaners” of the marine environment.

This wonderful species is endangered! And if we do nothing to prevent them from being extinct there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050!

 

After all these achievements, my friend remain the same: plain, true, enthusiastic and an active like ten years ago. Even though her full daily programme, she has always time to meet you or hear you or even remember your birthday, surprising you with the most beautiful bouquets you have ever received! The only change is Rhenia, her small jack russell that is always with her from the moment she got her.

If there are more people with Katerina’s environmental awareness and action, our planet would have hope!!!

All together we can do more things about the Earth.

Visit allforblue.org, buy the reusable straws package from the first importers in Greece, be a volunteer in the next underwater or beach clean-up or contact Katerina and organise with her a shark awareness – ocean conservation seminar at your children’s school or even for the children of your township or borough.

TAKE ACTION!!!

 

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Namaste

Irini Katrava

 

Pic credits: Nick Nikolaou, Christopher Bartlett, Alex Suh Divewet

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