Jeffrey L. Rotman

Jeffrey L. Rotman

Jeff Rotman is one of the world's leading underwater photographers.  Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1949, he learned to dive and began shooting underwater 42 years ago in the cold, often murky waters of the North Atlantic.  Relentless in his pursuit of perfection, he combines an artist's eye with a naturalist's knowledge of his subjects.  The result is a unique and inimitable assortment of images that blur the line between art and science.  A recent review of his work noted, "Among fellow photographers, naturalists, and divers, Jeffrey L. Rotman is widely regarded with awe, so difficult is his specialty, so great is his mastery of it."

His work has been featured on television and in books and magazines worldwide, including Life, Time, Smithsonian, The New York Times, National Geographic, Geo, Stern, Paris Match and Le Figaro.  Jeff is also the author of twenty-three successful books. 

Among his recent honors, Rotman was recognized as the BBC "Underwater Wildlife Photographer of the Year" and was awarded First Place in the prestigious photojournalism competition sponsored by the American National Press Photographers' Association and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

The Last Fisherman

Witness to the Endangered Oceans


With breathtaking images and compelling stories, an underwater photographer chronicles the glory, and devastation, of our changing oceans.

Rotman’s passion for photographing marine life took a dramatic turn when he found a pile of sharks at the bottom of the sea stripped of their fins and left to die by rogue fisherman. The Last Fisherman documents the catastrophic changes in ocean wildlife and the people whose lives depend on hunting it.When author Jeff Rotman began his adventures as an underwater photographer more than 40 years ago, he relished the beauty of the deep sea and the thrill of the hunt. A member of an elite group of photographers, he has captured iconic photographs of sharks and other creatures of the deep that can be seen in National Geographic as well as the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week television series.

Rotman has witnessed the near commercial collapse of cod fisheries in the North Atlantic and the growth of illegal poaching in the protected waters of Cocos Island which threatens this fragile ecosystem long admired by divers for the shark and ray populations. His journey mirrors our view of the oceans as places of wonder, to the fragile hunting grounds they are today. In his introduction, marine biologist Les Kaufman discusses how the “emptying out of the oceans” has progressed over time. But he also includes stories of hope as scientists, fisherman—and observers like Jeff Rotman—come to agree that the time is now for a new approach to the most fundamental of human activities, finding sustenance in the water around us.


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