We at DFC head quarters are super excited to have been able to secure as our guest speaker for 2017 the one and only Andrew Fox. He is the worlds leading authority on Great White sharks and an all round top guy.
Andrew Fox was born to a life of sharks. Even as a baby, he was party to the many planning sessions his father, Rodney, was having making the first ever documentaries filming great white sharks . His early years were set to a back drop of film crews, the sea and shark footage.
The oldest of three children, Andrew was the one who inherited his father’s affinity and fascination for sharks. He loved the beach, and spent hours exploring rock-pools. At the age of seven, Rodney took him out on a Shark expedition, much to the dismay of his mother, Kay. Andrew saw his first Great White Shark at night, at the aptly named, Memory Cove – he can still picture the torch lit image of the huge head of a large shark lifting above the water to view him, standing up in the boat.
After that first encounter, Andrew was hooked, and he spent as much time as he could (usually during school holidays) out on the boat with Rodney, absorbing all he could about these amazing creatures. After he finished high school, Andrew studied Environmental Science at Flinders University (in Adelaide) and began working in On + In Surf Shop, which was part of the family business. Yet, he still took every opportunity to get back into the ocean with the sharks.
After finishing his degree, he focused on running the Shark Tours while conducting research into the behavior and ecology of the Great Whites. Andrew became adept at observation, identifying things about Great Whites that no-one had previously recorded – behavior, social hierarchy, the way they move, pigmentation variations, breeding habits and even personalities. Today, Andrew can identify (by name) hundreds of individual sharks. It is part of the special affinity he has for these amazing creatures.
His keen observation skills led him naturally into photography. His photography and film library is amazing, cataloging nearly 1000 individual sharks. He has spent more time in and under the water filming, photographing and observing great whites than anyone else in the world.
In 2001, Andrew and Rodney with Dr. Rachel Robbins established the Fox Shark Research Foundation. It was also the time Andrew began taking over the helm from his father, and making Shark Tours more of a full-time, tourist experience. The research required funding, and Andrew reasoned the best way to fund it was to offer people an unforgettable live-aboard Great White experience – they had pioneered the Surface Shark Cage, and had the only Ocean Floor Shark Cage in the world.
It has become a very successful marriage. Each Rodney Fox Shark Expedition is a thrilling encounter with sharks and the world they live in, but it is also a Research operation. Every trip, Andrew observes or learns something new – his little boy’s fascination burns brightly in the man.
Andrew is a recognized, globally, as a leading authority on Great White sharks. He’s often approached by media to give his opinion on environmental issues, shark attacks and shark culling. His balanced point-of-view is highly respected in Australia and overseas.
Andrew Fox is a special host on-board many of the great white shark tours.