Guillaume M. is a medical microbiologist in the UK, researching topics that are very different from marine biology and whales! He has however become supportive of marine conservation through travels, friends and personal interest.
Where did your whale love start?
Aside from enjoying a lot my occasional aquarium visits, I was recently inspired by friends and their unshakable love of marine conservation, and it led me to inform myself more about it.
What current ocean conservation issue do you feel most strongly about?
Overfishing and the accidental by-catch of endangered marine species, and oil/plastic pollution
What have you changed in your life to help save whales?
I don’t eat a lot of fish generally speaking, but when I do, I try as much as possible to opt for sustainable sources or ethically fished. Generally speaking for the second issue, I believe that trying to reduce waste in our daily lives is a good way to reduce pollution in the environment and oceans, both effectively, and by gradually reducing the need for oil/plastics in our lives. I try to apply this for myself every day at various levels.
What advice would you give to others to take steps in their lives to help whales?
Getting more informed about marine conservation as a whole is always a good start. Most people have good will and seem sensible to these causes but find themselves powerless when it comes to action. Generally speaking, these issues are being raised in the public sphere more and more. Changing habits in our own lives may seem like a small meaningless effort, but will contribute to a global change of practice if enough people do it. Recycling and reducing waste in every day’s life needs to be continued and encouraged, especially as it is sometimes not easy (so much plastic in supermarkets). Buying glass bottles instead of plastic ones, preferring to buy over the counter rather than in multiple plastic wrappings are only small example. Change will not occur overnight of course, but as long as awareness increases and that it goes in the right direction, there is hope.
Any whale tales to share? (what’s your favourite one you’ve already shared?)
I have not seen many whales in my life, so my tales are pretty limited. But I remember being very amazed the first time I saw a beluga 10 years ago in the Saint Laurent River in Quebec. A very memorable encounter for a city boy like me.