Lucas Handley is a marine biologist, underwater photographer, and Master Freedive Instructor. A contributor to BLUE, the feature documentary released in October 2017; Lucas is passionate about ecologically sustainable development, and saving our oceans.
BLUE takes the viewer on a provocative journey into the ocean realm, witnessing a critical moment in time when the marine world is on a precipice. Half of all marine life has been lost in the last 40 years. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. Featuring passionate advocates for ocean preservation, BLUE takes us into their world where the story of our changing ocean is unfolding.
“The film focuses on real-time climatic and socially driven changes. A number of key ocean people guide the catalyst of change by bringing the viewers into their world. For me, it was especially important to be working with such incredible people to drive awareness and lobby for change. The confronting issues tackled in the film will have long and hard fights to overcome in the future.”
Alongside his work with BLUE, Lucas also participated in the short film Tofua’a: Seeing Eye to Eye with Tonga’s Humpback Whales. A collaboration with Mercedes Benz Magazine; the short film focuses on the possibilities of non-verbal communication with the gentle giants of the ocean.
Most recently, Lucas hosted five short films that opened Shark Week 2017 for Great Australian Bites as they took a dive into the relationship between humans and sharks off the coast of Western Australia.
All this is huge departure for the boy who spent his childhood barefoot on a farm in the Byron Bay hinterland in Eastern Australia. His days were spent exploring the nearby rainforest looking for platypus, pulling yabbies out of the creek, climbing trees and building dens. Lucas started exploring the ocean as a young boy, spear fishing for the family meal. As an eight year old, when other kids were reading Dr Seuss, he was reading fish taxonomy books and knew all the Latin names of the fish he caught.
Today, Lucas is more likely to be found underwater, diving to depths of 55m on one breath of air. Able to hold is breath for six minutes, the ocean is his home.
Lucas is an ambassador for Scuba for Change, an organisation that invests in Pacific Island communities and their sustainable future. He is helping villagers in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines keep their reefs intact by developing their own ecotourism enterprises.
At his core, Lucas is an ocean guardian who works to promote a global approach to ecologically sustainable development. He has worked on campaigns to force inquiries into better management of our precious marine resources as well as assisting in hands on scientific research.
“The ocean has always seemed a place of limitless supply, infinitely bountiful. No one ever imagined that we could do anything to harm the ocean: by what we put into it… or by what we took out of it. Yet in my lifetime, half of all marine life has disappeared. We are seeing the fastest broad-scale changes marine ecosystems have ever experienced. This is Ocean Change. If each of us could do something to stop the decline of our ocean’s health, what would we do?” - Lucas Handley