Our Team

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    Jim Abernethy – Conservationist, Photographer, Filmmaker and Author
    Jim Abernethy is an award-winning author, photographer, cinematographer and conservationist who pioneered shark encounters without a cage. Starting at a young age, scuba diving served as an inspiration for his life’s mission as a conservationist. For decades, he has been leading photography/videography expeditions to engage with the world’s largest predatory sharks – Abernethy hosts cage-free dive expeditions (day/night) with tiger, great hammerheads, oceanic white tips, bull, and lemon sharks – he is best known as an extremely passionate crusader for their protection and has received numerous awards for his lifelong dedication as a marine life conservationist. To Continue Reading...
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    Susan Papes – Boat Goddess
    USCG 100-Ton Captain / PADI OWSI / Nitrox Blending Technician: A USCG Captain, Divemaster and retired PADI Instructor, Susan has been diving in Palm Beach for over 20 years. Through JASA Susan shares her love of education by introducing divers to Palm Beach’s amazing reefs. Her favorite critters are the tiny treasures she spots hiding in plain sight, which she’ll be happy to show you during your next drift dive aboard the Deep Obsession!...
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    Ryan Sobel – Reservations Specialist
    Ryan joined the JASA family in June of 2014. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Ryan Sobel is a marine artist and conservationist, using his work to showcase the beauty of the natural world while encouraging others to preserve it. The primary focus of Ryan’s work is painting marine life and ecosystems from around the globe. His paintings and murals have been displayed in galleries, zoos, public aquariums and other scientific institutions across the United States, while Ryan enjoys traveling to speak with others about the influence art can have in Continue Reading...
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    Joe Smith – Expeditions Coordinator
    Joe Smith is a retired Army logistics officer with 20 years of active duty. After returning from deployment to Iraq in 2006, his philosophy became – life is too short not to do the things you love! After a second deployment and settling into his next duty station in Atlanta, he learned to SCUBA dive and has enjoyed the peaceful zen the underwater world provides ever since.   “The ocean has some of the coolest creatures on the planet, especially sharks…my favorite! I never get tired of talking to people about Continue Reading...
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    Jackie Bailey – Bookkeeper
    I am the bookkeeper and have been doing books forever.  I am just your normal bookkeeper, other than currently I am living on a sailboat anchored in the intercoastal waterway.  Love working at JASA and hope you come see us and go diving!...
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    Zoe
    Blue and Gold Macaw Zoe is a 25 year old Blue and Gold Macaw who has been Jim Abernethy’s life long companion.  He was hand raised by Jim and is a fantastically intelligent animal.  Zoe can alert you if sharks are present in the water so that you know to dive immediately and he can also scream up the sun with the best of the parrots. Zoe resides at Jim’s private home with a huge indoor cage and a fantastic outdoor aviary where he spends a lot of his time.  Continue Reading...
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    Emma
    Emma is a 14 foot Tiger Shark.  She was born somewhere in the Atlantic, and started frequenting Tiger Beach in the early 2000’s. Her BFF is Jim Abernethy who brings nature photographers to take pictures of sharks. He is her closest human friend, and she relies on him to tell her story to other humans in the hope that if enough people come to know her personally, they will be able to stop the killing of sharks in all of the world’s oceans.  She is currently a resident at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas.  Continue Reading...