We all know that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, but did you know that we’ve only discovered less that 5% of it? Or that according to the world’s register of marine species, there are now 2,40,470 accepted species, but this is believed to be only a fraction of the total.
In this very different seventh episode of the Deliberate Talks podcast, Dakshin Adyanthaya (founder and director at Pixelated Egg Digital Ventures), the host of the show, shares the space with guest, Suneha Jagannathan (Independent Marine Biologist) as they take a ‘literal’ deep dive into exploring an unconventional career choice.
- When asked what drove her to become a marine biologist, Suneha discussed about Marine Biology as a career choice, her active participation in marine conservation, and how starting a conversation with the individuals who may not have a clue about marine biology and introducing it to them became a priority.
- As a child who spent her time at the beach, and as a lover of nature, she took up her bachelors in zoology that sparked her interest in wildlife conservation. With a fair bit of experience working as a volunteer with the Madras Crocodile bank and an internship at the Indian Institute of Science, Suneha later completed her Masters in Tropical Marine Biology after which she began her own organization in India.
- Her work is primarily tied to artificial reefs. Artificial reefs are very important because of overfishing, climate change and marine pollution.
- Artificial reefs allow fish to breed, and can sustainably put an end to overfishing and increase populations. This can also help rejuvenate the Ecosystem and give rise to new reefs millions of years from now.
- Education of urban and rural children may differ greatly at times. Urban children may be more aware of global issues whereas rural children are more aware of the grass-root level problems that reside within nature.
- Funding isn’t scarce. you can get funding from India or even foreign organizations, though the latter are more stringent.
Notes for the inquisitive ocean lovers and divers from the expert herself:
- The common mistakes that divers make are:
- Holding onto or accidentally stepping on coral. This causes physical damage to the reef.
- Unaware or first time divers usually assume that coral reefs are rocks. This has been documented as one of the most detrimental aspects of divers interacting with coral habitat.
- Divers also intentionally and unintentionally may disrupt a marine animal for pictures and reactions. If you’re a diver, be responsible enough to observe them from a distance and don’t stress them out with your presence.
- The best way to maintain the effectiveness of a beach cleanup is not just to spread awareness. But to ensure the segregation and recycling of that waste and get volunteers to interact. Today, the whole idea is more of a vicious cycle. Beach cleanups lead you to pick up waste that goes into municipal dustbins, which is then just dumped back into the oceans.
Episode’s favourite Quotes:
- “Growing up, I was the animal freak who only loved talking about animals all the time, which led me to find my tribe. Instagram also plays a big role. People think I spend so much time at home working, but the truth is that the life of a marine biologist involves 20% field work and 80% research, data analysis and documentation.”
- “Thank the Coral reefs for your sea-food, and thank the coral reefs for your tourism. Coral Reefs are vital to the global economy.”
- “There is a lot of scope in our country for those who are budding marine biologists as a career choice. Recently there’s been an emphasis on global change and reducing the load on the environment, and India is still a developing country with a scope to develop new ideas. So for individuals wishing to contribute, now is as good a time as any.”
- “It’s also very important to take the initiative and write to people who already contribute to the environment. Unlike conventional jobs, this one requires a lot of research and grunt work to begin. Engage with local organizations that can help you get your foot through the proverbial door.”
- “You don’t have to be a marine biologist to be environment conscious. You can use your creative skills to contribute to the marine biology world.”
- “You need to go online and do your research as a tourist. Look for tourism operators who don’t disgrace marine life.”
You can listen to the entire episode on this unconventional career choice on the links below:
The Deliberate Talks Podcast is powered by the Pixelated Egg Digital Ventures – a Digital Marketing agency based out of Mumbai, India.
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Until next week’s episode, Inspire and Be Inspired!