• TEAM America

TEAM Members

mb

Dan Silveira is one of those guys who can’t live without adventure. His knowledge of the ocean stemmed from his family roots. For generations his family has been fishermen from the islands of the Azores. While Dan did not grow up there, he spent his childhood years traveling back to his family’s homeland to learn the traditions of fishing and diving. His hunger to learn ancient traditions, and persistent training led him to not only become a four time Pacific Coast spearfishing champion but also a U.S.A. National freedive spearfishing champion. He has been to the far reaches of the planet to understand different diving, hunting, and fishing techniques, and his knowledge has led him to harvest several world record fish.

In every hunter, there is a secret motivation; for Dan, it is cooking. He believes that fresh, local, wild, and sustainably caught foods are the secret to delicious meals he creates. On any given day, you can find him in the kitchen cooking all kinds of wild edibles that he has caught. His cuisines range from Asian, Thai, Portuguese, Moroccan, Mexican, Peruvian, Italian, Indian, and more. He has done cooking presentations for companies such as Le Creuset, and local events. In a spiritual way, Dan believes harvesting your own food gives you a greater appreciation for the entire process of what we eat. The process of feeling the emotional consequences of harvesting food, respecting your catch by caring for it properly, cooking it to perfection, and watching friends smile in awe when they taste perfection, is what it is all about. That is what drove Dan to become a champion spear fisherman.

Since Dan can hold his breath for nearly seven minutes and has dived to 60 meters on a single breath of air, he has applied his skills and understanding of marine life into photography. He has taken some of the most beautiful underwater images one could imagine. As a hunter, he has learned to love the animals, and when he has enough to eat, he spends the rest of his time documenting the amazing wonders of the liquid planet.

Dan spends enough time in the water for one to wonder if he ever has time for anything else, but surprisingly he finds a way balance his life with several other hobbies such as; mountain biking, snowboarding, horse back riding, hiking, backpacking, mushroom foraging, archery, marksmanship, kayaking, kite boarding, and surfing. He is just one of those guys who has a wealth of knowledge.

In his professional career, he is a video production manager, has a degree in marketing and one in business management. He speaks three languages (English, Portuguese, and Spanish). He is a freediving instructor for Freediving Instructors International. He is also a scuba instructor for SSI, and a dive master for PADI.

mb

Forrest Galante is an international wildlife adventurer and conservationist who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of amazing animal encounters and previously unaccomplished expeditions, typically below the surface.

Growing up in Harare, Zimbabwe Forrest spent his time discovering the depths of the African bush. He wrangled snakes, trapped mammals, snorkeled in muddy dams and explored remote islands of the Mozambique archipelago looking for untouched reefs. After moving to California, Forrest graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Biology, his dive master certification and his 100ton ship captain license.

As an expert in the outdoors with a special emphasis in primitive hunting and gathering, Forrest found one of the best ways to study and appreciate the aquatic world is through responsible sustainable harvest of his own proteins by becoming part of the food chain via freedive spear fishing. Forrest is a skilled freediver and renowned spear fisherman with 3 world records to his name.

At the age of 27 Forrest has traveled and dove in over 46 countries worldwide. He’s stayed everywhere — from tiny uncharted islands to the most glamorous of yachts. In his attempts to get closer to nature, he has been on featured on televison, hospitalized, shot at, chased, mauled by a lion, bitten by a shark, dodged the biggest storm in Australia's history, caught giant crocodiles, stung by a stingray and more, and loves every minute of it.

mb

Aloha my name is Marnie Casem Balubar,

I have always been fascinated with the ocean. I loved going to the beach for just about anything. When I was young I would surf a lot with my friends and spend endless hours in on or around the ocean. As I got older I began to follow my uncles around, as they would harvest fish by spearfishing for dinner. As time went by I was over dealing with the crowds and everyone fighting to catch a wave. This is when I decided to spend most my time under water. I’ve been blessed and have been surrounded by many talented people in this field. I learned how to harvest fish on my own starting at a very young age.

I started competing in spearfishing competitions at the age of seventeen on the north shore of Oahu. From here I traveled and competed throughout the Hawaiian Islands extensively. I was successful enough to be able to compete at a national and international level that has allowed me to travel around the world.

In the last couple years I have enjoyed entering competitions that have involved eradicating invasive species from the reef. I have also been a part of some fundraisers where we successfully raised a lot of money for people in need.

I’ve been using the O.M.E.R. and Sporasub line for as long as I can remember and its something that’s not going to be changing anytime soon!

mb

Shelby Eisenberg's enthusiasm for marine life and ocean conservation is what led her to freediving. Shell spent her college years in Hawaii earning a degree from University of Hawaii at Mnoa in Botany with a focus on seagrasses and algae. During this time, Shell was an avid recreational freediver.

Shell's first freediving job was as an underwater photographer. Wanting to increase her time underwater, Shell began training with Performance Freediving International in 2012. Without any prior intention to pursue depth freediving, this experience inspired Shell to continue training and see what she was capable of.

Later that same year, Shell became a freediving Instructor with PFI and now teaches all courses from recreational freediving, to how to survive big wave wipeouts, to advanced freediving down to 200' to how to teach freediving!

Shell took an interest in competitive freediving in 2014. Her first National Record set at Deja Blue 5 was for Dynamic Apnea No-Fins with a distance of 125m/410' 2:51, the previous record in DNF had held for 6 years. Less than a year later, Shell broke the women's DNF record again with a swim of 132m/433 in 2:48 at the first K?kaha Apnea Competition in Kona, HI.

Shell's primary ambitions are focused on marine conservation and promoting freedive safety. In addition to teaching hundreds of freedivers how to hold their breath longer, dive deeper and safer, Shell has used her breath hold abilities to assist in invasive species roundup, collect data on Hawaiian reefs, and participate as a freediver for Oceanic Preservation Society's Racing Exctinction.

Performances

Constant Weight: 72m/236
Constant Weight No-Fins: 52m/171
Free Immersion: 63m/207
Dynamic Apnea: 150m/495
Dynamic Apnea No-Fins: 132m/433 NR
Static Apnea: 5:47

mb

I got into Spearfishing as a kid growing up around about the age of 10. My Dad bought me a handspear and we would go dive in our local creek looking for Flathead. We also had a island of our local beach which was about 1/4 mile offshore and that was the next step for us kids to get too! So I had fun growing up diving!

I stopped diving for around 10 years as I had so much going on but have recently fallen back in love with it. At the moment I just walk across the road from my house and I have a few spots I cruise around looking for Ulua's, Uku's on the North Shore of Oahu. I have been getting my Jet Ski ready for summer as I'd like to venture and do some Bluewater Diving! I'd love to get some Wahoo and Mahi Mahi action ha ha!

It is such good cross training for my Big Wave Surfing and any time on and in the water is better on land! And also feeding the family is great! I only shoot what I can eat so that's my rule.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

10 x Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard World Champion
6 x United States Paddleboard Champion
WSL XXL Biggest Paddle in Wave Winner 2015
Surfer Magazine Heavy Water Winner 2015
3 x Australian Surfing Awards Waterman of The Year
Battle of the Paddle Champion 2009

az

Aloha I am Jon Barretto. As a child I learned to dive and hunt for fish from my grandfather and uncles. I credit my grandfather who first placed a mask and snorkel on my face. Since that time I have honed my diving and spearfishing through many friends, family, & competition. I have been sponsored by Omer, and Sporasub since 2002. Experience:

2002-Kauai Spearfishing Tournament- 1st Place individual aggregate weight.
2002-Hawaii State record Knife Jaw 11 lbs.
2003-Represented Hawaii at the U.S. National Championships in Rhode Island- runner-up for rookie of the year.
2004-U.S. Nationals eliminations in Hawaii- 1st Place individual aggregate weight.
2004-present Hawaii State record Pualu 10 lbs. 12 oz.
2004-Represented Hawaii at the U.S. Nationals in Hawaii- 4th Place Team total weight.
2005 & 2006-Represented Hawaii at U.S. Nationals.
2007-Maui Sporting Goods Fall Shootout- 2nd Place team total weight.
2009-Red Sea Ocean Adventures Survivor Skindiver- 1st Place individual.
2010-Hawaii Skin Diver/Gene Higa Memorial Tournament- 4th Place largest fish.
2011-Kona Coast Spearfishing Challenge- 1st Place Team largest fish.
2004-2010 Lead coordinator for the Kauai Spearfishing Challenge.
2011-Speared personal best and largest fish to date, a 105 lb. Ulua.
2011-Hawaii Skin Diver/Gene Higa Memorial Tournament- 1st Place largest Uku.
2011-present certified as a level 1 instructor with Freediving Instructors International (FII).
2011-Roi Reckoning at KoÕolina- 3rd place team total weight.
2012-Lead coordinator and host for the International Pacific Spearfishing Championships. Teams included Hawaii, Guam, Tahiti, New Caledonia, New Zealand, & Australia.
2012-Kauai Invasive Species Eradication- 1st Place largest fish.
2012-World record holder for largest Uku (Gray snapper) 32 lbs. speared.
2013-Kona Coast Spearfishing Challenge- 3rd Place team total weight.
2013-Gene Higa Memorial Tournament- 4th Place largest fish.
2013-Competed in International Pacific Championships held on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
2014-Alii Holo Kai eliminations for U.S. Nationals- 1st Place team and 1st Place individual.
2014-Competed in the International Pacific Championships in Raiatea, Tahiti.
2015-Competed in the International Pacific Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia.
2015-New Hawaii 3-prong record holder for the Mu (Big eye emperor) 8.5lbs.
2015-New Hawaii record for Yellow spot Ulua 16.13 lbs. speared.
2016-Competed in the International Pacific Spearfishing Championships held in Paihia, North Island, New Zealand.
2017-Competed in the International Pacific Spearfishing Championships held in Guam.

mb

My background in diving began at a young age. I was born and raised in Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, and grew up in and around the ocean surfing, fishing, and diving. I got into competitive dirt biking as a teen and raced into my early 20s, but soon gave that up to spend more time in the ocean. Since then diving, hunting, and fishing have been my passions in life, and I am grateful for the ability to feed my friends and family doing what I love.

  • Started diving/spearfishing at age 6 with a three-prong (“Hawaiian sling”) in the ocean across the street from my family home, and began diving competitively in local tournaments at age 14.
  • Career highlights include representing Hawaii in the International Pacific Spearfishing Championships and the US National Spearfishing Championships, and well as success in numerous local competitions.

In addition to competing, I enjoy exploring, diving, and hunting remote places throughout Hawaii with my family and friends. I share a love for the ocean with my wife, who is a talented diver, surfer, champion canoe paddler, and former Olympic kayaker. Our two year old son also loves the water and will likely be a future user of Omer products. (He already dives down to the bottom of the pool for toy fish and enjoys biting them when he gets to the surface.) The ocean and outdoors are central to our lives.

Thank you for including me in the Omer family and always keeping me suited up and ready to go for anything the ocean throws my way. I truly appreciate all the support and look forward to continuing to use Omer products and proudly representing the company into the future.

Ambassador

mb

Growing up in Santa Cruz, California I was never more than a few steps away from the ocean as a child.  Spoiled rotten by warm water at three-months old, my love affair with the ocean grew stronger as we frequently visited our house in Cabo Can Lucas. My parents awe of the ocean transpired into me as we watched and learned elephant seals Ano Nuevo, giant jellyfish in San Fransisco Bay and baby octopus in Baja tide pools. As I grew older, my passion for the ocean grew so strong that I began writing letters to the Japanese PM at age 9 to abolish the killing of dolphins. At 10 I was doing beach clean-ups (something that has become so integral in my life as an adult.) In my later teens, I left the cold, kelp waters of SC and traded them in for warm,  crystal blue waters of Hawaii. I followed my dreams of becoming a marine biologist for several years until the daunting reality of writing grant proposals led me to unlikely career working on an ambulance. In the years that have ensued, I have rekindled my passion for making the world a better place, focusing my energy on conservation, sustainability and education. Several years ago, i fell in love with free diving and the connection is allows me to with the sea. On one breath, I enter a world so pristine, so precise, so perfect, that I give all my energy on land to preserving it that way. Listening to humpbacks sing, watching a school of fish move in unison, and the blurred edges of sunlight as you approach the surface. Free diving allow me to reconnect with my primordial self, my innermost joys, and a community of people who cherish the deep blue as much as I do.

mb

Aloha!

I grew up as an Army brat, moving around the continental U.S. every 2 years or so, but I never lived by the ocean. For as long as I can remember, I told my parents I would be a dolphin when I grew up. They took me to Sea World in San Antonio, TX and it changed my life forever. I cried the entire time, out of happiness and frustration. I was so happy to finally see the majestic killer whale in person but so distraught to see them confined to a tiny concrete pool. I then changed my mind and decided I would be a marine biologist (I had no idea what that actually meant).

I moved to Hilo, Hawaii in August 2007. I earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Marine Science and Geology with a minor in Chemistry. In school, I was able to assist in many conservation efforts. The Hilo Marine Mammal Response Network and the Hawaii Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility were founded when I was studying marine mammals at the University. I was able to participate in several marine mammal stranding events and I gained experience in stranding response and animal husbandry.

When I wasn't in school in Hilo I did seasonal work for the Boy Scouts of America in the Florida Keys as a sailing instructor, PADI divemaster, first mate, and scuba gear repair mechanic. In Florida I was also able to participate at cetacean rehabilitation facilities. I gained sea time on large sailboats, doing live-aboard dive programs with young divers from around the country. It was so inspiring to bring these kids into the ocean for the first time and to show them there is nothing to fear. After I graduated, I moved to Florida but soon realized that Hawaii was my real home.

In September premier of 2013 landed in Kona. I walked into the first dive shop i found and applied for a job. I began my career as a manta ray night dive guide and worked for several years doing afternoon and night time dives/snorkels with the manta rays in Kona. After over 1,500 logged dives, I decided to take a break and I applied for my USCG captains license. I received a 100 ton Masters license with a towing and sailing endorsement.

I now work for a small family-owned company (Coral Reef Adventures) that has been in business in Kona for 14 years. We take customers out to swim with wild dolphins, manta rays, and a plethora of other wild life. I also give lectures at high schools in my area to teach the local children about the importance of the ocean and the damaging effects of pollution. Working in the tourism industry allows me to interact with and influence a great number of people. I meet 20+ people per day that I can teach about the ocean. People who have never seen the ocean before I can hopefully show them something amazing and inspire them to take simple steps necessary to save our planet.