Marine conservation, also known as marine resources conservation, ensures the protection, survival and ­preservation of ecosystems in the oceans and seas. As a marine ­conservationist, you will be involved in activities such as diving and conducting research which could even entail conducting scientific experiments for the ­conservation of marine life, observing and ­analysing data, then turning it into a functional, operable report. But this cannot be possible unless one goes out in the field and thoroughly understands the dynamics of nature at grass-roots level.
“Working in this field requires a lot of dedication. It involves research, collecting data and creating awareness. It is a very niche field but it has tremendous potential. We live in a country surrounded by 7,000 kms of coastline and there is urgent need to conserve and study our biodiversity,” says Mitali Dutt Kakar, co-founder, Reef Watch Marine Conservation, Mumbai, who was drawn to the ocean after a chance trip to Mauritius.
Marine conservationists have to have knowledge of marine sciences and also factor in the needs and preferences of stakeholders whose survival depends on the seas and oceans. Awareness of economics, marine laws and policies help conservationists work out ways in which they can protect and conserve marine species and ecosystems.
The scope of work may vary, depending on the position and need, but typically would involve environmental conservation, plant and animal research and water management.
To become a marine conservationist, one needs to take up botany, zoology and chemistry at the school level. Graduate and postgraduate courses in marine biology/ecology are ­recommended for higher studies. Knowledge of environmental and marine laws, economics and policies help conservationists influence governments to bring in changes to ensure the survival of marine life.
“Working on field can be challenging and you might feel isolated at times. So, unless you have the temperament and ­passion, you should not enter this field,” warns Kakar.
Survival of the fittest
Sound knowledge of marine science, research skills and ability to analyse data will give you an edge over others
Rs. I take home
Rs. 15,000 per month
I love my job because...
Doing education programmes with children, interacting with talented researchers and most of all scuba diving, what else can I ask for
There is a lot of scope in this field but there aren’t many organisations and NGOs working in this area of science. It is believed that in the coming years, marine conservation will be a popular career option. Having the right training and qualification will help