Is it time for a sea change among the city's divers?

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 June, 2011, 12:00am


Renowned underwater photographer Michael Aw has never dived in Hong Kong waters, and he has no intention of doing so unless someone shows him what he is missing. The 55-year-old, who has won 61 international awards for sea photography, urged divers in the city to be more active in showing the world its underwater life. 'So little is known in the sea here, and we should definitely explore more of Hong Kong and Chinese water,' he said. 'But someone has to show us what's in there first and then we will come.'

Aw, who was born in Singapore and is now based in Australia, showed his work to 200 marine lovers in Hong Kong yesterday at a marine film event.

He was named one of the world's most influential nature photographer by Outdoor Photography magazine last year and won the Gold Diver award at the World Festival of Underwater Pictures.

He started diving when working in advertising and marketing, to relieve work pressure. But he did not fall in love with it until 1990, when he quit his job. 'What I am doing now, it's actually my retirement,' he joked.

'Every time I am in the sea, and look at the animals, I feel like going home. Every diving experience is special to me.'

He is now working on a project to document the flora and fauna for a movie, and conservation work has become a major concern of his job, because for Aw, the ocean and climate change are inseparable.

'Climate change is caused by ocean change ... When you look at the coral reefs, you will find they are not recovering as fast as they did. We must do something now, or the next generation won't have them.'