2020 Dec 2
Asha de Vos has been named the Sea Hero of the Year 2020 by Scuba Diving Magazine!
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 de Vos is the Founder of Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education non-profit organisation. Her decades worth of efforts that benefited a nonmigratory pod of blue whales, that she discovered also resulted in her being named as the Sea Hero of Scuba Diving Magazine for the month of November.
Despite being told that there is no scope for a career in Sri Lanka, she remained true to herself and faithful to her dreams and proved everyone wrong.
However, thanks to her and Seiko Watch of America, the next generation of ocean enthusiasts won’t face the same issue. Asha plans to use her $5,000 award to run a three-day residential field course in marine conservation, giving a lucky few the opportunity to experience the marine environment in person.
Conversing with the Scuba Diving Magazine she says “Every coastline needs a local hero. Someone who can identify issues that need resolving, understands the local context and can come up with solutions that are relevant and workable. The field course is a way for me to teach students about the ocean in a fun and interactive way—give them opportunities that do not otherwise exist within the country, and hopefully get more people into the field”.
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