An Interview with WiseOceans… Flavio Joseph from WiseOceans
This week we chat to Flavio – WiseOceans’ own Marine Educator. Growing up on the beautiful island of Mauritius Flavio didn’t have to go far to see incredible tropical marine life but for him, it is all about sharing his passion for it – creating that connection with someone that makes them think differently about our oceans.
Name: Flavio Joseph
Job Title: Marine Educator
- What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
I’ve always been fascinated by the sea and felt most comfortable while looking at what lives underwater. Marine documentaries on TV also pushed me to go and see for myself and eventually study the subject.
- What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?
I started Marine Sciences & Technology at the University of Mauritius and also went through diving certification. During my university years, I also volunteered with NGOs working in marine conservation.
- How did you land your current job/position?
I had been following marine related pages on Instagram, to know more about conservation and education around the world and to stay up to date with the recent findings. I saw a post about the WiseOceans Weekly Job Alert which I signed up for and here I am today.
- Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Making people realise that the sea is not just water, salt and the commercial fish they usually consume. Making people discover what’s in there and increasing their interest to protect this environment
- Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’?
I know for sure that I will not be able to make everyone I interact with stop using plastic or stop eating non-sustainable fish – for example. My role is to educate people on things that they might not necessarily know, on the impacts of simple actions we do and think of what they can contribute to help marine conservation. People’s carelessness is often due to the lack of information they have and their behaviour can change when they learn more. I feel like I am making a difference in that sense.
- What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
That marine conservation is not only about research and monitoring. There is so much you can achieve connecting with people through education.
- Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?
Passion and Patience. You really need to be passionate to engage yourself in this way. Being a conservationist is a lifestyle, even at home, you remain as such. You will also have to be really patient with all people involved in your conservation job. Things take time to reach completion in conservation but the results always worth it.
- What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?
Join any marine-based events or activities, meet people and learn from everyone. Join NGOs, they need volunteers and there’s loads to learn with them
- What is your favourite marine creature and why?
Never ask that to a marine scientist! Even if I love all the creature underwater, I am always impressed by octopuses. So clever, they go anywhere they want and so good at camouflage – they change colour and texture. They can perfectly control their 8 arms and do several tasks at the same time. With 2 arms and 2 legs, I still lack coordination.
- What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?
During a dive in Mauritius, we came across the most curious hawksbill turtle which voluntarily came to rest on the dive instructor (Octo). I’m sure even after all these years diving it should have been a memorable dive for Octo as well.
Thank you Flavio, we love what you bring to the team and hope you can inspire others to follow in your path. Read more about Flavio’s adventures on the stunning island of Desroches, Seychelles in his latest blog.