Alese and Mort Pechter

Alese and Mort Pechter

Alese & Mort Pechter worked for many reaching out to the general public with their unique brand of photography and philosophy, creating awareness the beauty of the underwater world, and of recreational diving as a means to see that beauty.

Perhaps most often seen as photographers at DEMA Show (having been the official DEMA Show photographers for dozens of years!), their efforts have gone beyond just being a “job.” Diving, the diving industry and the people in the diving industry have been their passion. Their contact with the mass media has helped to change the image of the diving industry from "macho" to an accepted family recreational sport. In doing so, they have expanded the visibility of the diving industry, creating an opportunity for kids and adults to see this world through their eyes, while encouraging those potential divers to get out and try diving.

The Pechters have traveled the globe and spent many years documenting the underwater experience in the Cayman Islands… photographing, writing and lecturing, passing the word along about the world of SCUBA. Scientists and writers, as well as media personnel, have been the beneficiaries of their excellent photographs. The Pechters were responsible for photographs that changed the face of diving in the media; imagery of the Cayman Islands and other exotic locales that accompanied the articles written by international journalists in publications worldwide – and importantly, articles that reached outside of the diving community, to bring diving to the public at large.

Their underwater photographic library is a veritable history of the diving world and international SCUBA sites.

The Pechters have dedicated thousands of hours to teaching children about the underwater world. They entertain, visiting school children and with adult groups to promote ocean conservation. The Pechters’ children's book, What's In The Deep has received public and critical acclaim and was chosen a Public Broadcast System “Reading Rainbow” selection. It was the first ocean-oriented book directed toward young children that used actual photographs of the underwater world, rather than illustrations of imaginary critters. What's In The Deep? has become a science text in libraries and classrooms throughout the country.

During their careers Alese and Mort have been contributors to the first newspaper for divers, Underwater USA, and periodicals Caribbean Travel & Life, Dive Training and Sport Diver. Several of their underwater photos were selected by the Chinese government to be part of a special art show touring that country.

Ardent marine ecology advocates and always conscious of the fact that children who snorkell may one day become SCUBA divers, the Pechters have been ardent promoters diving as a family activity. Their promotion of snorkelling as an active, family recreational sport has encouraged the conservation & ecological spirit of the individual.

The Pechters have been elected Fellow National members in the prestigious Explorers Club for their contribution to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration, Life members of the National Marine Educators Association, the Historical Divers Association and are also members of the Oceanography Society. Alese was elected a charter member of the Internationally-recognised Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Mort and Alese have promoted diving whenever and wherever they could, including involving themselves voluntarily in a variety of television productions, among them a special television production about sea and space, featuring Michael Collins, the command module pilot for Apollo 11, the NASA mission landing the first man on the moon. Their photos and articles have appeared in general interest magazines and newspapers throughout the world and their multi-media presentations and seminars on ecology, marine biology, land and underwater photography, travel and on the creation of multi-media shows, have captivated audiences at museums, schools, and universities throughout the world.

Their photographs have also drawn attention to the underwater world through several prestigious art gallery shows, and are part of the permanent collections of the Long Island Science Museum, Florida Atlantic University and Adelphi University. They were active founding members of the Long Island Science Museum having carried the title of Administrative Vice President of the museum for several years.

Among their many awards, Alese & Morton Pechter have been honoured by the United Nations Environment Programme and recognised by the US Navy as Honourary Deep Sea Divers. They were honoured by the South Florida Police Search & Rescue Teams, were selected as the 1996 Photojournalists of the Year and been awarded the 2003 NOGI for Distinguished Service.

The Pechters have the unique ability to instill in others the same excitement and enthusiasm for life's wonders that they have. Their obvious delight for the world beneath the sea is nurtured by their deep commitment to conservation and preservation of the underwater wilderness.