Hello, my name is Irma Dubois and it’s been almost two months since I started working with WiseOceans as their Marine Conservation Trainee, at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. I am currently doing a degree in environmental science at the University of Seychelles coming once a week in the weekend to work.
I saw this job as an amazing opportunity to build myself professionally, especially now that I am in my final year at the university. Though I was a bit nervous at first I have had such an amazing month working with WiseOceans, whereby I have learnt and experienced so much. For having been inactive in water for so long, this traineeship has helped restart an extinguishing fire in my heart. Being in the water has felt so amazing, feeling that rush when I see the abundance and richness of species at Petite Anse reef. Seeing things such as reef fish, squids, nudibranch and the whitetip reef shark. I feel very lucky to be working in such a breath-taking environment and is much more appreciative of living in such a beautiful country. On top of that being proud to be part of such amazing team.
During these first few weeks I have done a bit of everything. I have gotten the chance to refresh my skills in beach profiling, which I found very accomplishing. Some other activities such as turtle walks in the morning to see if there hadn’t been any nesting, though not common, it is always good to be on the lookout. Helping Sam, the Reef Restoration Officer with coral transplants and nursery maintenance has opened me up to some new things. Even more during the reef restoration demonstration on Saturdays whereby guests at the resort get to learn more about the project, in addition get to attach their own coral fragments onto metal bars to be transported to the nursery.
Corals being very important as they make up our reef ecosystem, we participate in the CoralWatch surveys by selecting spot within Petite Anse bay and record on the coral colouration (which can indicate the coral’s health). This allows the monitoring of the world’s coral reefs health.
Putting science to one side, I have had chances in assisting with guests on guided snorkels, which is a chance for them to learn more about Petite Anse reef itself and see the nursery with all the amazing species that inhabit. These are not just activities for guests but also for the resort staff, allowing them to be or feel closer to the marine environment. Working down at Petite Anse beach has been a wonderful experience so far not just because of the different activities that goes on, but because of amazing colleagues Hannah, Krishna, Sam and hotel staff that I work with, who help to create a very pleasant working environment.
Altogether I feel that I am being well prepared to be a future marine conservationist, and the fact that this is only the beginning gets me really excited. I am therefore very much looking forward to what lies ahead of my future as WiseOceans marine conservation trainee.