De SILVA, Rex Ian

Sri Lanka (1940- )

Last updated: January 8, 2018 at 16:24 pm

Pioneer of diving in Sri Lanka; commercial diver from 1968 to 1985, starting as Chief Diver for Mobile Marine Engineering Company in Colombo; marine biologist; began studying sharks in 1968; has published more than 115 scientific papers, book chapters and articles; author of The Sharks of Sri Lanka (2015); underwater photographer; Spearfishing Captain of the Reefcombers of Ceylon, one of the world’s earliest diving clubs whose patron was Sir Arthur C. Clarke; Spearfishing Captain of the Kinross Swimming & Life Saving Club; held the (unofficial) Sri Lanka depth record for diving with compressed air at 240 feet (73 m) in 1974; began spearfishing and diving in October 1956; has since completed over 12,000 dives.

“Diving is simply a fascination. What my eyes saw on the first dive is nothing that I can put to words, no picture can ever compare to it either.”

“Diving during the 1950s came without restrictions. I used to be one of those crack-pots who dived in the monsoon!” — Rex De Silva | The Sunday Times Sri Lanka (Aug. 30, 2015)

Honours and Awards:

Marine Conservation Forum Award for “Years of dedication to the marine environment and its study, especially the Sharks of Sri Lanka.”
Fellow (Zoological Society of London)
Fellow (Linnean Society of London)
Professional Member (Institute of Biology, Sri Lanka)

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