After my brief stint working at Bristol Aquarium, I didn’t think I’d ever willingly step into an aquarium during the February half term again. But somehow, earlier this month, I found myself doing just that, all in the name of coral reef conservation.
While the work in seal care is always interesting and every day remains different with these charismatic animals, as time goes on there are of course fewer new experiences. Now I feel really settled. Two waves of new volunteers have arrived since I did and lots of people are leaving, so I am no longer truly new myself (although of course I am to those who have been here for years).
I attended an Ocean Conservation Panel on marine plastic pollution last week. It was really interesting with incredible speakers, and made me reflect on my history with the issue of ocean plastics and where we should go from here.
While marine plastics pollution is an issue that is only becoming more prevalent in the media every day now, I don’t remember a time before it was on my radar. This can be credited to my mum, who during twice-daily dog walks on the beach would notice how much litter washed up on the shore and be incensed by it. Like most people, my education and understanding has only increased recently, with documentaries like A Plastic Ocean really capturing the public consciousness, and videos of straws being pulled from turtles’ noses going viral.
Last night I went to an “Ocean Conservation Panel” at the Steppes Travel Beyond Festival in London, all about marine plastics pollution. I got to see one of my absolute all-time idols speak, and find some new ones, as well as get some inspiration to change my behaviour and annoy my friends to change theirs!