Cristina Zenato


Shark Professional / Cave Explorer / Ocean Conservationist / Educator

Cristina is a shark professional; cave explorer, ocean conservationist and a champion for shark conservation. Considered a pioneer in shark tonic immobility by direct stimulation of the ampullae of Lorenzini, Cristina Zenato is a Platinum Pro 5000 recipient, a Women Diver Hall of Fame inductee, and a member of the famous Explorers Club and of the Ocean Artists Society. Cristina has spent the last twenty years diving in the Bahamas, her home base, and around the world to learn, share and educate people about shark and ocean conservation, cave exploration and water related issues. Her work has been featured on countless magazines, TV programs and movies.

Cristina is known for her work with sharks, specifically Caribbean Reef Sharks and her ability to induce a status of tonic immobility through a gentle touch of their nose area. She is a technical diving instructor and underwater cave explorer. In her home in the Bahamas, Cristina has mapped one of the largest Bahamian cave systems. She is also the first woman to ever connect an ocean blue hole with a land-based cave. This project has been hailed as a history making accomplishment and the second ever completed in the entire world.She is an active spokesperson for fresh water conservation and garbage disposal. Most of the material used in these conservation efforts comes from her cave explorations and surveys. By proving the connection between surface water systems and the ocean, she has demonstrated the impact that mishandling this environmental connection will inevitably have on the future of these reservoirs.

Cristina believes in the power of education and has dedicated countless time and energy in non-profit work, spanning from educational videos to cost free diving education for local people to presentations around the world. She supports several organizations with her time and skills, including Our World Underwater Scholarship Society and Women Divers Hall of Fame scholarship program.

Watch Cristina and "her babies": (video by fellow Divesangha Ambassador Stefan Andrews)


Favourite place above water:
On the boat going to the dive sites...

Favourite place under water:
I am underwater, I am in my favorite place...

Favourite sea animal:
Sharks for their perfect beauty and vulnerable perfection, and groupers, for their intelligence and goofy looks.

Diving has taught me…
That life is about who you are at heart, follow it. Don't worry about what people or society make you feel you should be. It would be like expecting a shark to behave like a nudibranch.

Check out Cristina's current endeavours:

Cristina Zenato logo