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Meet Patric Douglas of Reef Worlds

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patric Douglas.

As a twenty-five year veteran of the global tourism industry with his humble beginnings leading 21-day tours around the planet, Patric has spent twelve years from 2000-2012 as CEO (Chief Excitement Officer) with Shark Diver, a commercial shark diving company bringing big animals to thrilled divers all over the planet.

Patric created the first ever U.S and Mexican cooperative white shark tagging programs at Guadalupe Island. Patric went on to create the Isla Guadalupe Conservation Fund and was soon traveling to Alaska to cage dive with salmon sharks and Honduras to be the first commercial shark diving industry member to encounter giant sixgill sharks at 2000’ – in a private submarine.

In 2007 and again in 2008 adult tiger sharks were killed by sports fishermen in the Bahamas for a few pictures and a set of jaws. From this disaster sprang The Shark-Free Marinas Initiative concept.

In 2013 Patric launched Reef Worlds in Dubai, an ambitious design-centric solution to nearshore reef loss around the globe. The Pearl of Dubai Project is the largest underwater artificial reef and tourism project ever conceived and will set the bar for future coastal resort development.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The oceans are in trouble. Overfishing, development, global warming, reef loss, habit destruction and other factors are causing nearshore reef systems to disappear at a rate no one could have anticipated. Part of the main issues for the oceans is media. Back in 2000, I discovered with shark cage diving that our divers were becoming “activated conservationists” and the catalyst for that change was an immersion into the world of sharks. It was a such a simple tool for creating long-term solutions and strategies to save sharks. 18 years later shark conservation is a global force for the protection of sharks.

Artificial Reefs and Conservation Education

This is our challenge with nearshore reef systems that are dying by day, we are excited to bring the same immersive experience with resort based artificial reefs to this education space. The challenges are legendary. Much like our first forays into shark cage diving tourism when no one cared about sharks, reefs are not on the radar, and we face an incredible uphill battle to get people to care about the very building blocks of our oceans. Immersive experiences change minds and activate the next generation of users to save their piece of the planet.

Media link – Smithsonian

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Reef Worlds – what should we know?
Reef Worlds is the leading sustainable underwater tourism development firm in the U.S. Designing and building experiential art reefs and sustainable “Underwater Worlds” for resort hotel developments and nearshore environments worldwide.

Global reef loss is at 40%, in some regions a staggering 80% of coral reefs are gone forever. With ree,f loss go the ‘rainforests of the sea.’ More importantl,y tourism activities surrounding reefs account for billions of dollars lost each year.

Environmental change starts with understanding. Reef Worlds understands that resort hotel owners and developers entertain millions of resort guests each year and that resort waterfronts often contain degraded house reefs, ocean habitats in need of a makeover.

The opportunity to educate and inspire these guests resides with resort hotel based habitat tourism sites like Reef Worlds. Creating new habitat with art inspired artificial reefs is our goal.

Welcome to the future of sustainable “Habitat Tourism.”

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I suffer from an appalling overabundance of positive success. The world is what you make it to be, and we can all change it for the better. To be successful you have to break things. Conventional wisdom? Break it! Peer pressure? Break it! Follow your own path and work hard, don’t ever think that you, as one, cannot be the change.

What I have discovered over the past 50 years is that when you strike out and do something incredible, others come to you like a magnet and from that grows sustainability. We changed the way people around the world viewed sharks, we can do the same for reefs and perhaps save them in the process.

Executive-level expertise in tourism, film and tv production, sustainability, corporate responsibility, marketing, customer service, and multi-stakeholder collaborations. Measurable results achieved by developing award-winning global branded content, tourism, environmental and social innovation initiatives.

Serial entrepreneur, large budget management, public speaking experience; public-private-partnership interaction with foreign governments. Innovative thinker with strong leadership and relationship building skills; passion for bringing disparate stakeholders together to inspire and achieve impact.

Creative visionary behind many recent commercials involving the water environment including documentary and television productions featuring sharks.

When not involved with unique productions, Patric enjoys 30 years of unique tourism development creating new tourism concepts and underwater sustainability programs for conservation.

Expertise: From casting to production. Tourism development to conservation.

Soap Box Awards List:
-Executive Producer Nuclear Sharks Discovery Sharks Week 2016 (Top Rated Cable Program)
-Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2012-14 (Gold Lion, Silver Lion, Bronze Lion)
-Epica Awards 2013 (Silver, Silver)
-ADDY Awards 2011-13 (Gold, Silver)
-Golden Award of Montreux 2011-13 (Gold, Gold)
-The New York Festivals International Advertising Awards in All Media 2012 (Silver, Bronze)

For the past 25 years, Patric has been at the center of a very tight team of highly creative and talented industry experts who bring to the table a vast array of underwater and production abilities. One of Patric’s former businesses, Shark Diver, continues to be one of the largest commercial shark diving businesses in the USA.

“Creativity drives innovation.With innovation comes great things.”

Contact Info:

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