S.P.R.E.P. calls for more Ocean Scientists

The Director General of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.), Leota Kosi Latu, has urged students to consider being an Ocean Scientist as a future career.

Speaking during the 2020 World Ocean Day celebration at the Moata’a rugby field, Leota said there is a need for Samoa to have its own Ocean Scientists. 

"We need ocean scientists," he said. 

"The World Ocean Day celebrates our ocean which connects us all. The mission for this is to rally people all around the globe to protect and conserve the global ocean.

"What we do on land matter, our coral reefs are threatened by climate change which warms our oceans causing bleaching and increases acidity making it harder for reefs to recover after storms. It is important that we look after our reefs to keep them as healthy as possible so they can withstand these traumas.”

The marking of the 2020 World Ocean Day on Monday was done in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Samoa Tourism Authority, the UNESCO, UNDP, Civil Society Support Programme, Samoa Conservation Society and the host Moata’a village.

A Year 8 student attending the Moataa Primary school, Shakainah Faasau, told the Samoa Observer that the full-day programme was a new experience for her and her classmates.

"For me it was a great opportunity and the event was okay, I got the chance to see the mangroves and help to clean up the plastics for a healthier environment for us to live in,” she said in an interview. “And also to see the different types of creatures found in the sea and for us we can see another way of living and surviving.This is a great new experience for us the students to contribute into the conservation of our environment.”

When asked if she could see herself becoming an ocean scientist one day, Ms. Fa'asau said studying the ocean was not her area of interest.

"I am not really into becoming an ocean scientist, I am more interested in a career that deals with solving big issues and of course to become an investigator and most of all to have my name printed and acknowledged," she added.

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