An Interview with WiseOceans… Hugues Vitry from the Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization and Blue Water Diving Centre
This week we chat to Hugues Vitry. Hugues helped to set up several organisations and he recommends getting involved with as many NGOs as you can to gain experience and to always have your own opinion.
Name: Hugues Vitry
Job Title: Diving Centre Manager and Vice President of Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization
What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
I did not persue a career in marine conservation, it became an evidence to me when I saw the way the underwater environment is becoming more scarce of fish, coral reefs being destroyed and endangered by human pressure and invasive creatures.
What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?
Joining other NGOs and government committees to warn and assist them the best way I could.
How did you land your current job/position?
I am a diving instructor and founded my own business. I am also a member of Mauritius Marine Conservation Society (MMCS) and I am a founder member of the Mauritian Scuba Diving Association (founded in 1989), Reef Mauritius (ex Shoals of Capricorn) and Marine Megafauna Conservation Organization (MMCO)
I am a qualified trainer for coral reef monitoring network trained in 1994 by Australian experts (AIRMS) , did some training in Comorro Island for the account of Commission de l’Ocean Indien with 13 local Commorrian.
Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Surveying the population of resident sperm whales around Mauritius.
Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’?
Yes, absolutely! As a day to day witness of what is occurring to our reefs and fish population . I know our work is making a difference.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
That everyone should get involved and not say I am alone, I cannot make a difference – A wiseman said: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?
Yes, killing living animals when it comes to eradicating invasive species such as the crown of thorn starfish to save other species.
What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?
To get more involved in the protection of our reefs and to not to believe everything that is published. Forge your own opinion accordingly to what you see, do or study and always question yourself and others.
What is your favourite marine creature and why?
Whales, mainly our resident spermwhales because they are intelligent, gentle and they weigh up to 70 tons, that is 70 tons of tenderness towards each other of their clan. They care for their calves and the calves of other females and feed calves that are not their own, just like humans.
What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?
The day I helped free a sperm whale from a big hook implanted in the mandible that was stopping him from closing his mouth fully, as the hook causing pain in the palate and bleeding.
Thanks Hugues for this great insight into whale research in Mauritius. Your attitude and passion for your work comes through in how you have dedicated your life to studying these beautiful animals including helping to start several organisations.
Do you want to have a career in Marine Conservation? Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly job alert emails and keep an eye on our Wise Work pages so you don’t miss your dream opportunity in more marine conservation.