Cristina Mittermeier Photos & Videos on Instagram

@cristinamittermeier  Co-Founder @SeaLegacy / Photographer / Adventurer at National Geographic / @globalsurvey17 Ambassador for SDG 14: "Life Below Water" / SonyArtisan

2 hours ago

The ability to influence change lives in all of us; in all of our voices, when we speak up, and in all of our hands, when we act. A petition with more than 58,000 signatures, requesting that Canada’s federal government shuts down the Pacific herring roe fishery planned for March 2019, will be delivered to Minister Jonathan Wilkinson (@jonathanwnv) and the DFO (@fisheriesoceanscan). Together, we have brought national and international attention to the immeasurable value of herring to life on the Pacific coast, where animals like this sea lion feed on the incredible bounty of the sea. I want to give a huge shoutout to our friends at Conservancy Hornby Island, the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards and @pacificwild for championing this petition. Thank you for striving to ensure a healthy, thriving future for British Columbia’s coastal ecosystem. #beautifulBC #ocean #conservation #BIGlittlefish

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1 day ago

In my lifetime I have traveled to many countries and have encountered more languages than I could ever hope to master. Some of the most exquisite languages I have experienced, however, live in the wild. If you’ve ever heard an orca's call, you know that they communicate using a series of clicks and whistles and pulses. But, did you know that different pods have their own unique dialects, and that resident orcas are more vocal than transients? Transient orcas, like this mother spyhopping in the Salish Sea with her calf, are hunters who feed primarily on marine animals like seals and sea lions, who can hear their vocalizations in the water. This means that transient orcas hunt silently; streaking through the water without breaching or splashing for long periods, to catch their prey off guard. We watched this pod stalk and kill a sea lion over a period of five hours. All @paulnicklen kept telling me was “It must be terrifying to have these hunters on your trail!” Nature is amazing! #ocean #conservation #animalkingdom #whalewatching #beautifulBC

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2 days ago

#natgeo100contest // Throughout my career, @NatGeo has given me a powerful voice to express both my admiration and concern for our planet through my photography. This powerful platform has given me the opportunity to share compelling stories from around the world, that would otherwise go untold. Today, the @NatGeo Instagram account reached 100 million followers, and I’d like to personally congratulate all my peers who regularly contribute to our planet’s most compelling story on this incredible achievement! In celebration, @NatGeo is holding a photo contest for anyone with a passion for photography. Submitting photos to the contest is very simple. All you have to do is post a NatGeo style photo to your feed with the hashtag #NatGeo100Contest. For the next 24 hours, photos with this hashtag will be compiled by @NatGeo and narrowed down to a top 100. These photos will then be considered by a panel of 10 National Geographic photographers, of which I am honoured to be a part. Each of us will choose a favourite photo. The top 10 photos will be featured with a review from the panelists during a 1-day takeover on the @NatGeo Instagram account. Each of the 10 winners will receive a signed book, and the grand prize winner will win a trip to Tanzania! I can’t wait to see the world through your lens. #NatGeo100Contest

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3 days ago

Family Day in British Columbia, where I make my life with @paulnicklen, is a big deal! My children @JohnMittermeier, @MickMitty and @Jittermeier are now all grown up and embarking on their own adventures around the world. But it wasn't always easy, or fun, to balance the demands of parenting with trying to build a career as a photographer. Here we are in the jungles of Brazil some 20 years ago. While they endure boredom, mosquitoes and hunger, I am pursuing a photograph of an endangered monkey, that sadly, never came together. Such great kids! Having a government that supports families in their journey to raise productive, happy families is imperative to everybody's success!

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4 days ago

One of the questions aspiring photographers ask the most is how they can start getting their work noticed. Something that is important to understand is that photography is hard. It is exciting work and I am grateful everyday to be doing what I’m doing, but it has been a long road, full of failure and rejection and without a question, getting your work noticed will be hard. Today, I am proud to be a judge of “The BigPicture Photography Competition” and I am excited to see the work of established photographers as well as new talent. This competition is open to all photographers worldwide; enthusiasts and professionals alike. It is a great way to show off both your courage and your skill. BigPicture calls on photographers to contribute their work to this competition that both celebrates and illustrates the rich diversity of life, as well as inspire action to protect and conserve it through the power of imagery. $12,000 in cash prizes are awarded and winning images are exhibited at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. BigPicture is accepting entries until March 1. Learn more at

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5 days ago

Today is World Whale Day! Did you know - the world’s largest animals depend directly on some of the smallest as a food source? Do you see the inside of the humpback’s mouth in the first picture - the bristles that look like hair? Baleen whales like these humpbacks do not have teeth; they have baleen plates, a filter-feeding system that means baleen whales catch their food by swimming for their prey with their mouths wide open. Water passes through the baleen, but small prey like krill and herring and salmon are caught in the bristles, and then swallowed whole. Baleen whales have narrow throats and do not usually eat larger prey like squids or octopus. I took this photo off the coast of British Columbia, where I make my home, and where a herring roe fishery in the Strait of Georgia threatens to upset the delicate balance of the coastal ecosystem. Click on the link in my bio to sign the petition. #BigLittleFish #ProtectHerring With @sealegacy and @pacificwild #ConservationHornbyIsland #associationofdenmanislandmarinestewards

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6 days ago

The health of an entire ecosystem on Canada’s Pacific coast depends on one little, silver fish. Herring and their eggs provide essential nutrition all the way up the food chain - from salmon and seals to wolves and bears, humpbacks and orcas. But commercial fishing is wiping out the region's herring stock - and not for human consumption. Almost 90 percent of all catch is reduced to fishmeal used in pet and fish farm food. To allow herring populations to recover, all commercial fisheries in the Pacific North West have been shut down. Except for one. If we are going to save unstable species and return balance to the coast, we must work together to suspend the commercial herring fishery in the Strait of Georgia. Join #ConservationHornbyIsland, #AssociationofDenmanIslandMarineSteward, @PacificWild and @SeaLegacy in protecting these #BIGLittleFish - click on the link in my bio to sign the petition. Footage: @iantmcallister, @tavishcampbell, @paulnicklen #bc #herring #fish

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7 days ago

People are asking me how I spent this holiday, and I can happily tell you, I did have a Valentine! @PaulNicklen and I have built our lives, our purpose, and our work, above and below the surface, around a common mission and around each other. I have been celebrating Valentines with this man for almost 10 years and life could not be sweeter. He is a great friend and partner; a lovely stepdad to my kids @JohnMittermeier, @MickMitty and @Jittermeier; he is a great leader to our SeaLegacy team, and of course, he is a great Alpha to our puppies, Pingo and Buzo. #HappyValentines Day @PaulNicklen; you rock our world!

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7 days ago

I had no idea sperm whales could breach like this! This is from a recent shoot on the coast of the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, where the water is so warm it is like sinking into a bath. Sperm whales, like other whales, have historically been hunted both for meat and for bone, but also for a white oil found in their heads - spermaceti. Spermaceti, also called sperm oil, is where the sperm whale gets its name and actually has nothing to do with reproduction. Its biological function is not totally clear. There are theories that it might manipulate the whale's buoyancy (sperm whales are deep divers), and other theories that it aids in echolocation. Humans have used spermaceti in cosmetics, in lubricants, in candle-making, in soaps, paint, crayons... Today, these fascinating, powerful animals are considered endangered. #conservation #ocean #whale #awareness #history #endangered at Dominica

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8 days ago

In the darkness of the ocean's depths sperm whales, like this one, use echolocation to communicate with one another and to find their way. I took this photo off the coast of the island of Dominica, and I'd like to draw your attention specifically to the scars on this sperm whale's head. This is what happens when whales become curious of boats. This friendly sperm whale probably stuck its nose (or its melon, as it's actually called) too close to the propeller of a boat and got hit. Although they are incredibly smart and sensitive to sound, they are not savvy when it comes to boat traffic. The mechanical roar of motors in the water wreaks havoc on their echolocation; disrupting the whale's sense of space and distance. The good news is I think its wounds are superficial and this whale will be ok. #ocean #conservation #whale

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9 days ago

Do you know what orcas eat? Here in British Columbia, where I photographed these three beautiful animals last week, we have two types of orcas: Our beloved Resident orcas, which live year round in our inland or nearby coastal waters. They feed almost exclusively on chinook salmon, and that is why the protection of herring is so important to their survival. Pacific herring is the basis for the food web that supports the salmon and killer whales and most of the other mammals, sea birds and creatures who, with us, call this place home. Eighty per cent of the chinook salmon’s diet is herring, and over 80 per cent of the southern resident killer whales’ diet is chinook. It doesn’t take a scientist to make the important link between herring and killer whales. A second group, known as “transients,” feeds only on marine mammals. That’s what this pod was doing when we encountered them last week. They had just stalked and killed a California sea lion and they were feeling satieted, happy and curious. Transient orcas move north and south along the coast from Southeast Alaska and British Columbia as far south as Southern California, but they frequently make forays into the Salish Sea, where we are lucky to routinely encounter them. Local residents are asking the government to shut down the herring fishery, which is about to start so that we can give our resident orcas a chance to recover from the steady decline they have experienced in the last few years. If you want to support the survival of orcas, salmon and foundation fish, head to the link on my bio and sign the petition. #BigLittleFish #ProtectHerring With @sealegacy And @pacificwild #ConservationHornbyIsland #associationofdenmanislandmarinestewards at Salish Sea

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9 days ago

Photograph by @paulnicklen // Want to learn more about what it takes to do my job? Visit my website at, where you can join my newsletter to get intimate access to inspiring stories about adventure and the grit it takes to work as a conservation photographer, as well as tips and information about the sort of gear I use in the field. February’s issue will go out sometime later this month. #makahabeach #makahaboys @natgeo @moks_da_smokes @makaha_mel_momi_puu @noheamakaha @makahamomipuu @haakeaulana

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