SAAMBR lauds its second Living Legend: Dennis King

SAAMBR’s second Living Legend, Dennis King, is best known for his passion for fish and his amazing skill as an underwater photographer.

A powder-blue surgeonfish (Acanthurus leucosternon). (Image: Dennis King)

“I was inspired to start diving in the early 1950s by world-renowned Austrian biologist and diving pioneer Hans Hass. My love of diving led to an interest in identifying the amazing fish that I saw on the reefs along our coastline,” says King.

“This led to a growing interest in fish identification which, in turn, inspired my passion for marine photography.”

SAAMBR conservation strategist Judy Mann presents Dennis King with his Living Legends award. (Image: uShaka Sea World)

Drawing on his photographic prowess and love of fish, King has produced a number of definitive titles on marine species. These include Reef Fishes and Corals, East Coast of Southern Africa, Reef Fishes and Nudibranchs and The Reef Guide, the latter two co-authored with Valda Fraser.

A structural engineer by trade, King balances the terrestrial demands of his job with thousands of hours under water photographing fish. It doesn’t end there,$ however; he spends an equal number of hours selecting and editing images for specific publications.

His vast firsthand knowledge and comprehensive publications on marine species have made King a sought-after expert in the field of fish identification. By always being willing to share his knowledge and his incredible imagery, King has contributed towards a myriad marine educational projects.

On 2 March, SAAMBR paid tribute to Dennis King for his outstanding contribution to marine research, awareness and conservation – and to the success of SAAMBR. In acknowledgement, he was presented with a SAAMBR Living Legends award by SAAMBR conservation strategist Judy Mann.

Crescent-tail wrasse (Thalassoma lunare). (Image: Dennis King)

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