About: Shawn Heinrichs

©Kit Chalberg

©Kit Chalberg

Shawn Heinrichs is an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer, photographer, and marine conservationist, is a founder of Only One and was one of the lead activists and cinematographers for the Emmy-nominated film, Racing Extinction. Most recently, he was featured in the award-winning Netflix series ‘Tales by Light’ that showcased his innovative use of imagery to inspire and drive conservation of one of earth’s crown jewels, West Papua. Fueled by his passion for the oceans, Shawn’s groundbreaking work fuses dramatic imagery with intimate and thought-provoking stories, to connect the global community to the beauty and vulnerability of threatened marine species and habitats. He has become a major force in the global movement to protect threatened marine species and habitats. Shawn is a United Nations ‘Wild For Life’ Champion, serves on the International Board of WildAid, is a Director of Manta Trust, is a Safina Fellow, and an iLCP Fellow.

As an investigative conservation journalist, Shawn has gone undercover to expose stories in some of the most remote or challenging locations and his work has provided a rare view of the people and some of the more disturbing elements of the endangered species trade. His investigative footage and images have been used as centerpieces for documentaries and campaigns reaching hundreds of millions of people. In his drive to spread the word, Shawn has published numerous conservation articles and given presentations on marine conservation to audiences across the globe.

Key areas of Shawn’s conservation focus include ending the global slaughter of sharks, protecting vulnerable marine species, and establishing marine protected areas. He is a key member of team that has been creating marine protected areas in Raja Ampat, the heart of the Coral Triangle. As part of a special coalition, he is working to establish shark sanctuaries and shark fin legislation across the Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. Wins in Raja Ampat, Hawaii, Saipan, Bahamas, and Guam attest to the importance of this endeavor. And as Project Lead for Manta Ray of Hope, the team launched a global study, campaign, and documentary to address severe and escalating threat to manta and mobula rays that resulted in the successful Appendix 2 listing of manta and mobula rays at CITES.

In recognition of Shawn’s hands-on approach to marine conservation, he was presented the 2011 Oris Sea Hero of the Year award.

Learn more about Shawn’s work on Conservation

Visit Shawn’s websites:

Speaking & Awards


WildAid – International Board

Shark Savers – Director

Manta Trust – Associate Director

Manta Ray of Hope – Project Leader

International League of Conservation Photographers – Associate Fellow