As a young boy, Morne’s playgrounds were the mysterious kelp forests of the Southern Cape, South Africa. He spent his early years exploring the underwater forests, getting to know all their wonderful creatures. It was during these dives that he became aware of the ocean’s most famous inhabitant, the great white shark that patrolled along the edge of the kelp looking for seals or fish to eat. What started out as natural fear towards these formidable sharks has turned into a love affair of diving, research and filming great whites and other ocean animals.
Morne was one of the first divers to assist the South African government in conducting great white shark research in 2001, and since then he has contributed his skills and knowledge towards helping scientists tag and track various shark species. His knowledge of animal behavior, gained through years of experiential learning, has allowed him to get close and comfortable with these normally shy creatures.
He’s been able to share some of those magical underwater moments with people from around the world with footage in over 25 wildlife documentaries for the BBC, CNN, Animal Planet, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. This lead to an award of excellence from the Guild of Television Cameramen for spectacular underwater sequences of great white behavior filmed without the safety of a cage and co-founding a production company, Atlantic Edge Films.
Morne is dedicated to making a positive contribution to ocean sustainability and in 2009 founded a diving company, Shark Explorers, based on the concept that shark diving emphasizes the economic value of sharks as a non-harvested resource.
The Shark Explorers team not only offers safe and environmentally responsible shark diving trips within South Africa, Mexico and the Bahamas, but a portion of the profits, as well as images and videos, are donated to local conservation organizations.
Because he spends so much of his time underwater, the Pure Instinct range by MARES is his range of choice as it offers products that allow foremost for safety, but also for him to be most comfortable and maneuverable when interacting with sharks.
Morne’s life mission is to continue exploring the ocean wilderness and its wildlife and sharing their beauty, awe and vulnerability through tourism and filming.