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Chicken or fish? Ours is a hungry planet and fish is one of our favourite dishes. Problem is, with massive trawlers scraping the ocean bare and unregulated fishing happening in all corners of the globe, fish stocks are under immense pressure. By stopping illegal fishing and gathering information on existing fish populations Mike Markovina hopes to make a difference, even if it is just to make you think when you fish or when you shop for fish.
With a Masters in Icthyology (that’s fish studies to you), Mike worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in Mayumba, Gabon managing all ocean exploration and compliance activities. Then he and his wife Linda took off on their Moving Sushi Marine Resources Expedition, which took them from Cape Town to Japan and back by 4×4 – filming a documentary series about people and projects from around the globe that are making a difference towards marine conservation. With another four expeditions planned, Markovina and the Moving Sushi team have just completed their second expedition – collecting data on coral reef fish off the East of Africa using underwater stereo-videography technology.
A member of the prestigious International Explorers Club in New York, and founder of TedX Sea Point, Markovina wears the hats of a scientist, conservationist, adventurer and documentary-maker. Currently he is working for the Indian Ocean Commission’s Smartfish programme. Sponsored to the tune of €21 million they monitor, control and conduct surveillance of illegal fisheries along the East African coast, the great lakes and the Indian Ocean. In short they are fish commandos.
#BestAdvice: Value family
“In Gabon as we were trying to put together the Moving Sushi expedition to Japan and back, and Kingsley Holgate popped out of the bush, literally. That night around the fire when asked how he gets the backing for his expeditions he said to me, ‘If you want to achieve success on your expedition, at first only your family and friends will believe you can pull off a crazy idea, and they’ll be the only ones to back you. They’ll never let you down and it is though them that you will acquire the contacts to make your idea a reality…. Then get off your ass and do it”.
*By Tudor Caradoc-Davies