Teenager joins the fight to protect oceans

By Ian Foster
Bishops College
St. John's, Newfoundland

Ocean Net is an environmental organization founded and based in Newfoundland. The group's slogan is "instill an ocean conservation ethic".

Peter Mallam, a Grade 9 student at I.J.Sampson Junior High in St. John's, has been appointed as the first ever Junior Director in the history of Ocean Net. Mallam, who has expressed his concern for the world's oceans, talks to SNN about what Ocean Net does, how he became a member, and what it takes to get involved.

SNN: Could you give a little background information about yourself?

Peter Mallam: I'm 15 years old, and I've always lived in St. John's. I'm very interested in the ocean, and everything about it. I always have been.

SNN: What is Ocean Net?

P.M.: Ocean Net could best be described as a group of volunteers who are concerned and interested in the well-being of the world's oceans. We have chapters set up all around Newfoundland. Also, there are chapters in Nigeria, as well as different parts of Europe and Asia. Our motto is "To instill an ocean conservation ethic", and we're trying to get more and more people involved and aware of the current state of the oceans.

SNN: How were you chosen for the position of Junior Director for Ocean Net services?

P.M.: Well, they heard that I was very interested in what they were doing and that I was very interested in the ocean, so they came in to meet with me. It took off from there.

SNN: What's involved in working for Ocean Net? What do you do?

P.M.: Well, my job as Junior director of Ocean Net Services is basically to encourage people my own age to become involved, and to make them aware of the current situation we face with our oceans.

Check out an excerpt of Ian’s
interview with Peter Mallam.

SNN: Ocean Net is currently initiating several projects to try to make people more aware of the growing threat to the world's oceans. What are some of these projects, and how can one get involved with them?

P.M.: The main one that I am working on now is the Beachy Cove/I. J. Samson Chapter. We are currently getting ready for a beach clean-up, which will happen on June 4th. We're going to get the kids from I. J. Samson and from Beachy Cove to help clean up, and to promote awareness of what's going on. We're going to have divers down there as well, to show the students all the diving equipment they have. It will be a big event, and very educational for all involved.

SNN: How can someone become a member of these chapters?

P.M.: Well you may want to visit the Ocean Net webpage, or if you are at the school you can talk to me. You can contact with the chapter nearest to you, and you can get that information on the website as well.

SNN: What do you believe it takes to be a successful member of Ocean Net? What kind of characteristics must someone have to join?

P.M.: Basically, just interest in what we're doing, and willingness to come out to the events that we sponsor. Determination and interest are the at the forefront.

SNN: What is the future of Ocean Net?

P.M.: The future of OceanNet is bright. It's really beginning to take off. It's about two years old. There's now a gentlemen in Toronto who is interested in starting a chapter.

SNN: What about you? What do you have planned? Are you going to continue your work with Ocean Net?

P.M.: I'm planning to continue my work with OceanNet, because I really like what they're doing, and am really enthusiastic. I'm also planning to go on to university and become a marine biologist.

SNN: Is there anything else you'd like say to anyone who wants to get involved with Ocean Net, or become a member?

P.M.: I encourage anyone who is interested. Anyone at all, no matter how old or how young. Just contact me, or any of the other directors for information, and you can become a member. It's really fun, and it is very worthwhile.