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An Interview with Giacomo Abrusci, Founder of SEVENSEAS Magazine

Aligning Conservation and Tourism
through Images and Stories

Recently we caught up with Giacomo Abrusci, Marine Photobank member, and Editor-in-Chief of new conservation tourism magazine SEVENSEAS to learn about his inspiration for starting the online publication. Check it out to learn about places you may travel to, and how to tread lightly once you're there.

“You can hear about a ghost net killing animals, see a statistic on over-fishing, and you can read about a bleached coral reef, but it is only after seeing a compelling image that you can start to build empathy

— Giacomo Abrusci

SeaWeb: What is SEVENSEAS and why did you start it?

Giacomo Abrusci: SEVENSEAS is a new, free magazine designed to bridge the gap between marine conservation and tourism. That’s what I tell everyone. Usually the next question I get asked is something like, “that’s pretty specific, where did that come from?” Basically, it came down to the realization that I am a conservationist, I love the ocean, I love beaches, I love to travel, and I am not alone. I can’t imagine a person who loves dolphins but doesn’t want to travel to see one, or someone who wants a clean beach yet has no desire to lie on its sand. It’s an easy sell because travel is in the nature of the conservation community—and after doing a quick search, I saw surfing magazines, diving publications, and a whole lot of industry specific sites. There were no photo-heavy, conservation, and destination-driven publications to deliver environmental messages and teach us something new about far-away places we have yet to visit.

SW: What do you hope to inspire with the magazine?

GA: With SEVENSEAS, I am hoping the average reader will be tempted to flip through a couple pages to find a travel piece on Oman and unwittingly learn something about plastics or sedimentation on reefs, which they might not have otherwise. I quickly learned the core of the magazine needed to be the photos. You can hear about a ghost net killing animals, see a statistic on over-fishing, and you can read about a bleached coral reef, but it is only after seeing a compelling image that you can start to build empathy—the Marine Photobank is a great example of this philosophy. These same photos also give us hope, illuminate a marine world few alive have ever seen, and might inspire some to help in whatever way they can. Also to be honest, most people who read an article about ocean acidification already care, it is with great hope that the photographs in SEVENSEAS will grab the attention of someone new, or someone young, and inspire them to make a change in their life that will affect the world.


SW: Why is it important to align the interests of conservation and tourism?

GA: The tourism industry has earned a terrible reputation over the last few decades over waste, pollution, eco-system destruction, cruise ships, natural resource exploitation, local labor exploitation, and that is just scratching the surface. Therein lies the challenge of aligning tourism and conservation. However, tourism and biodiversity are intimately related, and in order to drive a higher demand for sustainable tourism practices, the key is awareness. Dissemination of science is one of the most powerful and impactful things we can do as a community, and sending an informed, careful, and conscious tourist out into the water has the potential to make a positive and long lasting change.

SW: Who are the writers and contributors to the magazine? How can someone get involved?

GA: The writers and contributors of SEVENSEAS are YOU. This is a publication by the community where already dozens of people have reached out to tell the story of how they became a dive instructor in the Seychelles or about a turtle conservation program in Costa Rica. The goal of the magazine is to promote the good work of the conservation community and everyone is encouraged to contribute. To get involved or submit and idea you can contact us at sevenseastravelmagazine@gmail.com, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

SW: In the end, what is your dream for sustainable tourism? What will it look like?

GA: My dream for sustainable tourism is for businesses, travelers, and ecosystems to mutually benefit each other. The natural world needs to be understood, respected, and enjoyed. The places where we already have this synergy are beacons of hope and I encourage all of us to support such practices.

Learn more about SEVENSEAS, upcoming events, and marine conservation related jobs >>