2020 Nov 10
When Sri Lankan Marine Biologist Asha De Vos makes waves, she makes them tidal!
The Founder of Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education non-profit organisation has dedicated decades worth of hard work that has benefited a nonmigratory pod of blue whales, that she discovered. After rising steadily in her work throughout the years, her latest achievement comes in the form of being selected as the Sea Hero of Scuba Diving Magazine for the month of November!
The Sea Hero Awards (sponsored by watch brand Seiko) is an initiative by Scuba Diving Magazine that aims to spotlight the phenomenal efforts of scuba divers who fight to protect oceans, reefs and marine life. A diver is nominated every month and every year. Asha makes it onto a list of 30 renowned divers whose work has positively impacted their local communities.
Asha believes that marine conservationists should work towards engaging people with the ocean and the life within it, rather than a “space of extraction”, which causes it to be viewed as an infinite resource.
Her years of success in marine biology come despite being told that there is no scope for the career in Sri Lanka. But by remaining faithful to herself and her dreams, she managed to start a movement that has more individuals interested in the subject and that raises awareness about Sri Lanka’s lush oceans.
Some of her other popular accolades include being named one of BBC’s 100 most inspirational and influential women in the world in 2018 and being the first Sri Lankan woman to have her portrait hung at Oxford University
Conversing with the Scuba Diving Magazine she says, “as women, we have to work a lot harder to prove ourselves. That’s the uneasy and unfortunate truth, and it definitely has to change,”
“In the meantime, I say strive not to be defined by your gender but by your capability; use your gender to empower others, by letting them see themselves in you. Your strength can become their inspiration. Remember that being inspired is the easy part—doing something with that inspiration is what is most important because if you live your best life, someone else can live theirs”.