Valentine Thomas quit her nine-to-five job and became a full-time spearfisherwoman and ocean conservationist.
“I’m from downtown Montreal. I’m not a hunter,” she explained. “And then I caught my first fish. I just fell in love with this. I fell in love with the fact that I just caught my own food. It was caught in a way that I know was respectful for the ocean.”
Thomas said she came back to her job in London one day and asked herself honestly why she was doing what she was doing. I few months later, she packed her bags, sold everything she had and moved to Florida. She said spearfishing helped her conquer her anxiety and fear of the ocean.
She shares her dives and catches on Instagram, where she has nearly 180,000 followers. She also spreads awareness about sustainable fishing and the human impact of our oceans.
“There is, right now, in society [very big,] thick curtains when it comes to food sourcing and the time it gets to your plate,” Thomas said. “When I swim in the ocean for my own food, I see the balloons. I see the cigarette butts. I see the plastic bags.”
Thomas also wants to defy gender stereotypes in a male-dominated sport and urges people to just keep pushing themselves toward their goals.