Baron Jupp Kerckerinck zur Borg
In all likelihood Jupp (pronounced “Yupp”) Kerckerinck was the first in his family, dating back to 1264, to become hooked on sharks.
One of eight children, he was born and raised in Rinkerode, Germany in 1939. After schooling in Germany, he spent one year in the United States studying as an exchange student and working on a farm in Minnesota. Following a tour in the German Army as a 2nd Lieutenant, Jupp learned banking and soon after that he started his own advertising agency in Berlin and Duesseldorf. Following a brief stint as a racecar driver for Fiat Abarth and Alfa Romeo, he finally settled down in the United States in 1978, to raise a family.
For the next 20 years Jupp’s focus was terrestrial. In 1978 he started Lucky Star Ranch, a 2,000-acre ranch in the Thousand Islands region of upstate New York. Lucky Star Ranch operated as the first commercial deer farm in North America. Growing up in the country, where hunting and fishing was a normal part of daily life, Jupp was a conservation-minded hunter for many years. However, he quickly lost interest in hunting when he began diving with sharks.
After his first cage dive off Isla Guadalupe, Mexico with great white sharks in 2003 Jupp became so intrigued by these wonderful creatures that he decided to spend his time learning, educating and talking to people about sharks and their senseless slaughter all over the world. Sharks have fascinated him ever since he went on his first dive with those majestic animals. Jupp started “Sharkprotect.com”, an informational website dedicated to educating people about sharks. He is the founder of “Sharkprotect e.V.” a German non-profit organization. Recently, Jupp was elected President of The Shark Research Institute, a non-profit scientific research organization in New Jersey, USA, that conducts research and promotes the conservation of sharks.
As of today Jupp has been on more than 220 dives, most of them with sharks. He has dived with Caribbean reef sharks, blacktip sharks, nurse sharks, bull sharks, lemon sharks, hammerheads and his personal favorite: tiger sharks. One of his fondest memories is the privilege of diving 16 times (outside the cage), with great white sharks in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. To have several great white sharks swimming around him in the “deep blue” was truly “….the most amazing feeling, and not in the least bit frightening”. Those were his words.