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lgnz16 creating places where people love to live, work and play

24-26 July, Dunedin Centre, Dunedin

Riley Elliott

Riley Elliott a.k.a the Shark Man is at the other end of the 'get some better work stories' spectrum.

As a surfer, spear-fisherman, free-diver and scuba diver, this classic Kiwi bloke has always been on the frontline to experience the rarest yet scariest of all natural encounters – a shark attack. 

He has not only dedicated almost a decade of academic research to these animals for their conservation, presently through his PhD at the University of Auckland, but has written his own book, spoken at over fifty public events, appeared in countless radio, TV and magazines articles, giving him the media experience to film a 10 part TV documentary series on sharks - two of which went direct to Governments to improve legislation.

He says that conservation goals have been achieved by communicating science to the public, because 'science is for people'. Through non-conventional methods, being public engagement versus industry finance, Riley has raised over $200,000 in funding for a satellite-tagging program of Blue sharks in New Zealand waters. The data is used for his PhD but the research project itself, as a catalyst for public opinion, one that grew so strong, it resulted in the ban of an extremely controversial practice known as shark finning.

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