The EDGE: Plastics and the Planet with Francesca Trotman

Francesca Trotman, Founder and Managing Director of 'Love the Oceans', visited Ellesmere last week as part of the EDGE lecture series for an informative and inspiring talk about marine conservation and the effects that plastic waste is having on our planet.

The Library was full of students, staff and parents who were intrigued by Francesca's very current topic that she presented with much enthusiasm.

Francesca studied Marine Biology at University of Southampton. In 2013, during her second year at university, Francesca took an internship in Mozambique and witnessed her first shark killing in Guinjata Bay. Francesca decided she wanted to investigate the sustainability of the shark finning industry in Mozambique, and returned to university to find a supervisor and research assistants to help her. In 2014, she returned for four months with three research assistants to collect data on the artisanal fisheries for her Masters' dissertation, focusing specifically on the elasmobranch (shark and ray) fisheries.

After her return to England, during the analysis of the data for her Masters' dissertation, Francesca realised her results were supporting the hypothesis that the shark finning industry is highly unsustainable. However, she did not have enough data to make the results statistically significant, making it impossible to publish scientific papers and lobby for legislation change. Francesca therefore founded 'Love the Oceans' whilst completing her Masters to continue her elasmobranch research.

Soon after founding the organisation, after researching successful conservation strategies and how to create long-lasting change, Francesca realised 'Love the Oceans' needed a multipronged approach and the mission of the organisation was revised to the broader aim of establishing a Marine Protected Area in Guinjata Bay and the surrounding region. As a result, the research of the organisation was expanded to encompass coral reef surveys, megafauna research and ocean trash.

Francesca decided to include the vision of complete self-sustainability for the community in the creation of Love the Oceans, making a successful conservation outcome eventually independent of Love the Oceans' presence in the area. To achieve this, education would have to be improved, both in general, but also specifically relating to Marine Resource Management, ecotourism and Sea Safety to spark passion for marine life in the next generation. This is why Educational and Community Outreach has been an integral part of Love the Oceans' work from the start.

The vision of Love the Oceans is to create a successful conservation strategy that can be replicated up and down the coastline of Mozambique and other developing nations to alleviate poverty and empower local communities to protect their oceans. They have developed a cutting edge, ethical volunteer program that gives individuals the chance to get hands on conservation experience, working alongside marine biologists doing research, community work and diving in Mozambique.

The EDGE Lectures have been a key part of Ellesmere College's Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programme for Sixth Form students for many years now - designed to enrich the offering given to students to give them the 'edge' when it comes to entering the world of university and work.

Each term, the College invites back key speakers from our network of over 5000 Old Ellesmerians (OEs), parents and local business people, who bring their expertise and experience to deliver inspiring and informative talks on subjects related to business, entrepreneurship and careers.

Nick Pettingale, Director of External Relations, commented, "At Ellesmere we believe in the individual and therefore 'The Edge' lectures create a breadth of professional input and real life experience for our students to learn from. The most exciting aspect from my perspective is the individual connections that are created with our speakers. Anyone in business today knows that success is based on relationships and our goal with 'The Edge' is to create those relationships before our students even leave the Sixth Form".

For more information about our Lent Term EDGE Lecture programme please visit: The EDGE Lectures

If you would like to join Francesca and the 'Love the Oceans' team in Mozambique, check out their amazing volunteer programme here.


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14th February 2019  Back to News