The Mother of Sharks, Ocean Conservationist and Diving Instructor, Cristina Zenato

Episode 132
Cristina Zenato possesses a child-like wonder in her exploration of the ocean. Her incredible work with sharks can be attributed to her ability to empathize and see the world through another’s eyes.

Today’s guest is known as The Mother of Sharks and is the founder of People of the Water. She has been a professional diver for 26 years. Her career is centred on changing people’s perceptions of sharks. Her work helps people realize and appreciate how vital these creatures are for the conservation of the oceans. Meet Cristina Zenato.

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Why are sharks worth saving and what makes them so fascinating? Cristina Zenato shares from 26 years worth of exploration in the ocean.

Here are some important topics discussed in this episode with Cristina Zenato:

  • 6:01 – Routines and rules
  • 9:16 – Self-portrait
  • 10:53 – Why sharks?
  • 17:11 – Confronting fear
  • 21:21 – Interaction with sharks
  • 23:25 – Mental strength and motivation
  • 26:27 – Handling uncertainty and failure
  • 30:34 – Personal strengths and unique traits
  • 33:20 – Asking questions
Cristina Zenato believes that knowledge and repetition are the keys to understanding and mastery. She constantly carries a mind that is open and eyes that pay attention to her environment.

Cristina Zenato grew up with a respect and a fascination of water. Exposed the wild outdoors of Central Africa, she’s had an intimate relationship with nature since infancy. To her, water was a place for adventure and connection, an amazing environment filled with subtle rules. She was taught at an early age to always pay attention to her environment. This allowed her to be aware but not fearful, believing there were no monsters in the sea.

As she grew older, Cristina Zenato remained entranced by the ocean’s creatures, but she loved sharks above all else. Cristina immersed herself in their beauty and mystery, spending all her days with sharks. She then realized how so few are as deeply amazed by these creatures as she is. Her mission to reframe other people’s perspectives on sharks began.

More than two decades in, Cristina Zenato is now an expert on shark behaviour. She enjoys deep learning as she works and interacts with these creatures. She also expands her knowledge by constantly working with scientists, communicating what she understands about sharks and all the ways we can protect them. As she grows vertically and horizontally in this unique field, Cristina Zenato swims in an expansive universe of knowledge and possibility. It’s no wonder why she has nicknames like “The Mother of Sharks”, “The Shark Whisperer” or “The Shark Dancer” among others.

In this interview, Cristina Zenato talks about the power of curiosity and child-like wonder. She also shares how she conquers her fears and why knowledge is best when shared.


You can connect with Cristina Zenato through her website, as well as her LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also make contributions and see her work on ocean conservation through the People of the Water page.

THIS EPISODE WAS POSSIBLE THANKS TO (Accommodation Solutions in Australia), and
Revolution Australia (Aussie designs with a twist) available in three different shops:

  2. Redbubble store
  3. Society6 Shop


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