Samoan woman's passion to protect oceans and fisheries
A young Samoan, Shauna Katafono, is doing her best to protect the Pacific's oceans and fisheries, urging the young generation that they have an opportunity to make a difference.
Mrs. Katafono grew up in Vaiola, Savai'i. She would spend most weekends at her mother’s village of Satupa'itea where her passion to protect the oceans started.
“This passion grew as I got older,” Mrs. Katafono told the Samoa Observer during an interview.
Mrs. Katafono studied Marine Science at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji where she currently resides.
She had completed her Bachelor's degree in 2014 and returned home where she worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Her time there heightened her passion for sustainable fisheries and oceans management.
Today, is is the co-Founder of TraSeable Solutions, a traceability technology company she started with her husband in 2017 after moving to Fiji.
TraSeable Solutions helps fishing companies and those involved in seafood supply chains to essentially track each fish caught at sea right through the supply chain until it reaches the consumer.
“A lot of what we do is around creating awareness about the negative impacts of I.U.U (Illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing on our oceans health to influence seafood consumers to buy traceable and ethically caught fish that are sourced from sustainable stocks,” she said.
“Growing consumer demand for sustainable and ethically sourced fish encourages fishing operators to change the way they operate to meet that demand. This can even extend to reducing their carbon footprint and marine pollution in their fishing activities.”
According to Mrs. Katafono, oceans health and the sustainability of our marine resources are being heavily impacted by plastic pollution, climate change and I.U.U fishing.
“If we don't act now to beat plastic pollution, reduce our carbon footprint and help prevent I.U.U fish from entering markets, the health of our oceans will continue to deteriorate which will affect the sustainable livelihoods of our people in the Pacific islands,” she said.
World Ocean Day 2020 is being celebrated on the 8th of June and she plans help with a beach cleanup on this day, similar to what they carried out last year.
She advises the young generation that we still have an opportunity to make a difference for our oceans.
"Time is running out but through innovation and thinking creatively we can impact change to realise a sustainable ocean. My advise would be to act now. Do whatever you can, whether big or small, we all have a part to play in protecting our oceans and ensuring its sustainability for our future generations," she said.
Mrs. Katafono gives thanks to her parents for being the best examples of giving back to our families and communities.
“They've instilled in me the desire to also give back and contribute to our communities through what I've been fortunate to learn abroad, to help create awareness and promote sustainable oceans and fisheries wherever I am,” she said.
“Together with my husband who is equally passionate about fisheries and creating solutions to the challenges we face in the Pacific, we are doing that through our business TraSeable Solutions.”