Discover what it's like working for Blue Ventures by checking out our staff Q&A blog series.
Gildas Andriamalala - Assistant Conservation Coordinator, Madagascar, 2006-2013
The thing I appreciate most about working for Blue Ventures is our community-based approach, working very closely with coastal communities and learning from each other. By forging lasting relationships and gaining their trust, I feel that I've been able to make a real difference by supporting them to manage their marine resources sustainably.
No matter how long you go away for, community members will remember your name, they will tell stories about what you did with them, and you will always be welcomed if you go back. I love the vision that all of us working in conservation are hoping to achieve: a beautiful sea full of fish, a forest full of trees and birds, a savanna full of animals… and of course, people living in harmony with those environments.
I've been privileged to work for Blue Ventures since our early days in Madagascar, and I'm very proud of the positive changes that we've achieved with communities along the southwest coast. From working with some of the most isolated and marginalised fishers to representing Blue Ventures at international conferences in South Korea and France, I've had some amazing personal and professional experiences while advancing sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation in my country.
Antoine Rougier - Aquaculture Coordinator, Madagascar, 2010-2013
Working for Blue Ventures is like being part of a team of "professional idealists" - people who want to make the world a better place, but who also understand that idealism is not enough, and that it is only coupled with pragmatism and professionalism that we can have a chance to actually make a difference.
The best thing about my job was how varied the work was. It was often pretty intense with a lot of responsibilities, but was impossible to get bored as there wasn't one day the same as the other. Doing logistics, human resource management, checking on seaweed or sea cucumber farms in remote places, having meetings with authorities or partners, working on research plans with students from the local university, and travelling on bumpy roads in 4x4s across insanely beautiful landscapes are just a tiny sample of what can happen in the life of an aquaculture coordinator with Blue Ventures!
The worst thing I can think of was probably the first 10 minutes waking up in the middle of the night for some sea cucumber monitoring or harvesting… Setting an alarm for midnight or 1am, to take care of sea cucumbers – because they remain buried and really hard to find during the day – is not a really natural move! But honestly, once my brain was properly on, those hours spent wading in the mud under the stars, discovering the amazing nightlife in the seagrass beds, and joking with the farmers while counting and weighing their sea cucumbers are some of my unforgettable memories with Blue Ventures!
Kame Westerman - Velondriake Coordinator, Madagascar, 2010-2012
They say that Peace Corps is "the toughest job you'll ever love", but reflecting on my time in Andavadoaka, Madagascar, I have to say that my two years with Blue Ventures are right up there. Challenging in different ways, yet rewarding beyond compare.
Working with Blue Ventures has provided me daily opportunities to learn and to grow both professionally and personally, against a backdrop of beautiful beaches, a welcoming community and dedicated colleagues. I was given professional opportunities, such as presenting at international conferences and authoring academic journal articles, which would not have been available at other organisations.
Living in a rural village and working with people from around the world was a fantastic opportunity to learn about other cultures and make new friends. If you are looking for an adventure that will provide you with unparalleled professional advancement, then definitely consider working for Blue Ventures!
Jen Chapman - Country Coordinator, Belize, 2012-present
The best thing about working for Blue Ventures is doing something that I'm totally passionate about and never bored by! There is no such thing as a typical day at work, from diving and surveying reefs to running school workshops on marine biodiversity or talking about seafood supply chains with local fishers.
I'm thrilled to be leading the development of Blue Ventures' work in Belize, addressing the threat of invasive lionfish by coming up with pragmatic approaches to population control with local fishers and private sector partners.
One of the things I enjoy most is project planning; talking to different partners about what we hope to achieve, defining our objectives and figuring out how we're going to get there. It’s a process filled with hope, anticipation and collaboration!