In the realm of ocean conservation, some individuals stand as inspiring pillars of change. Rose Huizenga, a dedicated PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor originally from the Netherlands and currently residing in Gili Air, Indonesia, has been awarded the prestigious title of the 2023 Sea Hero of the Year. Sponsored by Seiko Prospex, this recognition celebrates Huizenga’s remarkable efforts in safeguarding our planet’s oceans.

Huizenga’s journey toward becoming a Sea Hero commenced from her deep concern over the staggering changes witnessed in the coral reefs of Gili Air. As a passionate conservationist, she took proactive steps, founding Gili Shark Conservation and Coral Catch. Her relentless commitment earned her the distinguished honor, joining an esteemed league of Ocean Torchbearers.

Huizenga’s standout achievement also lies in her dedication to empowering local women in marine conservation. Her initiatives include scholarship and training programs aimed at encouraging and enabling women to actively participate in safeguarding marine ecosystems. Through Coral Catch Superwomen, Huizenga has provided opportunities for women to forge careers in marine conservation, catalyzing a positive ripple effect within her community and beyond.

Dr. Drew Richardson, CEO & President of PADI, lauds Huizenga’s impactful efforts, stating, “Mrs. Huizenga’s work stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing the power of local action in global marine conservation. Her commitment to empowering local women through education and training serves as an inspiration for all of us to contribute to positive change.”

Takeshi Sakamoto, President and CEO of Seiko Watch of America, expresses gratitude as well, saying, “Rose Huizenga embodies the essence of a true Sea Hero, demonstrating unwavering commitment to ocean conservation. Her dedication not only protects our oceans but also inspires others to join the cause. We congratulate Rose for this well-deserved honor.”

Yet, Huizenga’s vision extends beyond accolades; she aims to create a network of empowered local women devoted to preserving and reviving Indonesia’s coral reefs. Her goal over the next five years is to empower 100 women in marine conservation careers and teach another 100 to swim, nurturing a community of Coral Catch Superwomen advocating for our oceans.

As part of her Sea Hero of the Year award, Huizenga received $5,000 USD from Seiko. She has chosen to channel this support into expanding her scholarship program through Coral Catch Superwomen, positively impacting more lives and furthering the cause of coral reef restoration.

Reflecting on her mission, Mrs. Huizenga shares, “My ultimate goal is to unite local women to safeguard and rejuvenate Indonesia’s coral reefs. With support from PADI, Seiko, and the Sea Hero program, I’m determined to change lives and preserve our ocean.”

Since 2017, Seiko Prospex has been an ardent supporter of the Scuba Diving Sea Heroes program, dedicated to acknowledging the remarkable contributions of divers in preserving our precious blue planet.

To discover more about exemplary Sea Heroes making waves in ocean conservation and to nominate a deserving candidate for 2024, visit

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