Samantha Schwann

Samantha Schwann is an international award-winning photographic artist whose work concentrates on ecologically unique areas of the o…

Shark Habitat

About Threshold

Scattered around the ocean are areas of such significance, that their protection is scientifically recognized with the ability to impact global ocean health. These areas are known as Hope Spots, and the Gulf of California was the very first one.

Within a very narrow radius of the entranceway into the gulf, lies a global shark hotspot – attracting seasonal migrations of several radically declining open-ocean shark species. The animals arrive, linger, and then continue on. While not yet fully understood, there is something special here.

The area is ecologically unique: presenting a junction of three separate water masses mixing above the continental shelf, leading into a deep-water canyon, and nearby underwater mountain ranges (seamounts), all of which are seasonal habitat. While shark activity is easily studied at the surface, little is known about the activity and behavior at deeper depths.

Why are the sharks here, and what are they doing? Is there something deeper to be discovered? What role can modern technology play in saving a keystone species?

“Threshold” is a photographic project which seeks the answers to these questions, in a blend of exploration, science and conservation. Utilizing sound and underwater remote operated vehicles (ROVs), the project documents the activity in critical shark habitat beyond the reach of traditional underwater photography.