Eco AdvocateAlthough Carl Safina grew up with a love for recreational fishing, after he realized that overfishing could cause entire populations of fish to become extinct, he became a tireless advocate for the very creatures he hunted as a child.
Growing up in New York, Dr. Carl Safina developed a love of birds and fish. After earning degrees in environmental science and ecology, he founded the Living Oceans Program at the National Audubon Society, where he served as vice president for ocean conservation. By co-founding Blue Ocean Institute, hosting a TV series and writing several novels, Safina hopes to pay the inspiration forward.
Q: What compelled you to bring marine issues into the mainstream?
A: People never thought of fish as wildlife. They just thought fish were things that wound up in the fish store, or on a plate in a restaurant. The problems I was seeing — declines in fish, wetlands getting degraded — were too important to keep to myself and do nothing about.
Q: You’ve written several books; do any stick out as a favorite?
A: That’s like asking a parent who his favorite child is! It’s up to the reader to decide — there’s a little something for everyone. People were telling me they found my writing was inspiring them to change their own lives. I realized that was how I could contribute most uniquely, and that counted as effective change.
Q: What’s new for the Blue Ocean Institute?
A: We’re looking toward ramping up an educational effort in international schools, where the next generation will have a lot of influence.
Q: What does the future hold for Saving the Ocean?
A: We’re airing on more than 80 PBS stations, and just got funding for more episodes. There’s a lot to be excited and hopeful about in conservation. Saving the Ocean brings attention to places where things are going right — and what we can learn from them.
For more information on Dr. Carl Safina, visit www.carlsafina.org