Growing up, I have always had an appreciation and love for oceans and marine life. In 2008, I saw the film Sharkwater, and it was a life changing experience. Seeing this film turned a switch on in me… it generated a passion for the ocean that I cannot explain. This passion continuously fuels my drive for education, awareness and direct action in the area of marine conservation. Since graduating from Dalhousie University in 2009 with dual degrees in Bachelor of Science (Recreation) and Bachelor of Management (Concentration in Environmental Studies), my conservation efforts have been of broad scope. They include: organizing multiple fundraiser film screenings of marine conservation films; research intern with Sharkwater Productions on their upcoming film, and new NGO, United Conservationists; co-founder of a team in Calgary working towards a municipal and provincial shark fin ban; and assisting with an upcoming conservation NGO, Backyard Activist.
As I see it, there are two parts to effectively managing our oceans and fisheries:
1) The political aspects: this includes what happens out and inside of exclusive economic zones, law in international waters, species under protection, marine protected areas, etc; and,
2)Consumers – educated consumers may arguably be one of the most important and effective tools in fisheries management. I believe lasting change is created through empowered and educated consumers – through them being able to making sustainable choices towards seafood – as well as the political, social and economic accompaniments to that.
My career goals include founding my own conservation organization with a focus on education, outreach and benefit events; working with restaurants, fish markets and retailers on sustainable fish supply; and creating effective change in government policy towards sustainable fishing management.