Kiwi Couple Tags Sharks While Freediving

Riley Elliott freedives with a shark
Riley Elliott freedives with a shark

Looks like Madison Stewart and Perrin James aren’t the only freediving couple who swim with sharks.

According to Stuff, a news site in New Zealand, Kiwi couple Riley Elliott and Amber Jones recently freedived with sharks off the Aldermen Islands near the country’s North Island.

Elliott is studying sharks for a PhD in marine biology at the University of Auckland, and Jones documents his tagging them via photography.

Elliott, who several years ago led a successful campaign to ban shark fins in New Zealand, funds his research via an outreach effort where the public can help by paying for shark tags:

“To grow that exposure and awareness, I did a lot of media work that related around getting people to fund [shark] tags and naming them after their kid or sister or wife, or even a corporate business. We tagged these animals and showed people the live feed on the internet where these sharks went and what they did and what they meant for the ecosystem. It’s scientifically proven that more sharks mean more fish and a healthier ecosystem.”

To learn more about Elliott’s work, check out his website or watch the video below.