Me and the big blue sea: A marine conservationist’s story

Georgie is 21. She’s a scuba diver and underwater photographer.

Introduced to fishing by her dad, Georgie made her hobby into a career when she followed her obsession with the ocean all the way to the sea bed.

Georgie's journey

Georgie’s dad is a keen pike fisherman and introduced her to wildlife conservation at a young age. As she grew up she became more and more fascinated with the ocean.

Wanting to improve her diving and marine identification skills, Georgie joined a project called Seasearch which encourages divers and snorkelers to record the marine life they see during their underwater adventures. Their findings are used by the Marine Conservation Society to make important management decisions.

Why is marine conservation important?

The ocean covers around 71% of the world’s surface, so knowing what’s going on beneath the waves is just as important as knowing what’s going on above ground. And that’s where marine conservationists come in.

Marine conservationists play a crucial role in keeping our oceans healthy. Through monitoring marine life and underwater ecosystems, they can help us make better environmental choices. They can highlight the impact of plastics on the ocean, for instance, or identify which beaches are and aren’t safe to swim at.

Their findings can even influence fishing patterns to make them more sustainable, and help protect endangered species or habitats.

Below are some examples of the marvellous marine life that can be glimpsed off the UK coastlines.

What to expect if you want to become a marine conservationist

  • Salary: variable

  • Working hours: variable and may include weekends, evenings and early starts

What qualifications do you need to be a marine conservationist?

Typical entry requirements: Many marine conservationists will have a relevant degree. There are lots of options, for example: Marine Biology, Oceanography, Ecology or Environmental Management, to name a few. To access a degree you will usually need three A-levels or equivalent, often including a science or maths subject.

Having some relevant experience is important too, so you could look into volunteering opportunities. The Marine Conservation Society has more useful information about getting involved.

This information is a guide (source: Marine Conservation Society)

How a blocked toilet led to my sustainable business
video
Birds, anxiety and me: Finding peace in nature
video
A bee sting nearly killed me – now I’m a beekeeper
video