The Founder

James Nikitine

James worked for IUCN as a consultant 2016-2019

James in 2024, representing Blue Cradle as IUCN member

French / British citizen originally from the French Alps, at around 10 James started diving with his father in the Mediterranean around inspired by movies ‘The Big Blue’ and ‘The Abyss’. After graduating with a BA in cinema at the University of Exeter (UK) in 2007, James attended film school in Paris and traveled the Pacific starting in New Zealand. He then lived in Samoa and worked on the Great Barrier Reef as a dive guide in Australia. After returning to Geneva in 2012, James worked in environmental communications in Switzerland, Oxford and across Europe, before returning to University in 2015. In 2016, James graduated with a Masters of Science (MSc) in Marine Systems and Policies from the University of Edinburgh.

Since then, James has worked globally as a consultant in marine science and policy communications. His work includes projects on high seas governance, seamounts, microplastics pollution, climate change impacts on the ocean, deep reef research, biodiversity monitoring, ocean risk and marine protected areas design and governance.

He runs his own private consultancy, Marine Communications helping UN organisations, government and nonprofits in the marine science and policy spaces. He worked as project manager and producer with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the World Wildlife Fund, Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy, the Ocean Acidification Alliance and the UK and French governments. In 2019, he served as Media Advisor for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, in the context of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for sustainable Development. James also worked with the International Seabed Authority, and with the Edinburgh Ocean Leaders. He is a member of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. He is a PADI scuba instructor, professional scientific diver, underwater videographer, and sailing enthusiast. He lives in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand with his two sons and is a Fellow with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship.

With regards to Blue Cradle, in June 2024, after 4 years of strategic leadership and execution, James has decided to remain CEO but to hand over governance leadership to other members of the Board, with a new rotating Chair and Deputy roles.

Since 2019, James has been Co-Chair of the EU4Ocean Platform part of the EU4Ocean Coalition – watch the ‘Meet the Blue Expert’ and the EMD TV 2022 interview above to learn more about him!