by Jo Hudson, Conservation & Research Assistant, London
On June 25th two members of the Blue Ventures team packed up their promotional materials and headed down to London’s Southbank to take part in the London Aquarium’s an “Ocean of Stars” event. This event promotes marine conservation and highlights the heroes or ‘stars’ who work in the sector.
Blue Ventures was one of the many marine orientated NGOs, charities, and companies who had stalls dotted around the aquarium to promote their work. We were situated in the rainforest section, which whilst dark did have a prime location next to the piranhas! Once set up we were free to wander round and gape at the many tanks full of amazing creatures. It was interesting to see the aquarium when everyone had gone for the day, we got a private viewing of the amazing exhibits – and even got a little glimpse behind the scenes. As you can see from the photo below we were particularly taken with the aquarium’s resident green turtle. It was also great to be able to talk with the other organisations there, exchange news and make new contacts.
The public were due in at 7.30pm and rumour has it, that there were queues all the way down to the London Eye to get in! Guests were treated to a glass of bubbly, free sustainable sushi, a raffle and a juice bar – as well as talks by the Marine Stewardship Council and the Manta Ray Trust. Once the talks and raffle were over (sadly yours truly didn’t win anything), people then were free to wander round as they pleased.
We had a good response to our stall, with guests coming up and asking questions, taking leaflets and admiring our photo slideshow on the laptop. It was lovely to get such enthusiastic feedback from the public, who genuinely admired the BV ethic and results – there were even a few ex-volunteers lamenting about how much they missed Andavadoaka. We also had a few people who were interested in volunteering on our expeditions, so all in all a good night was had by all. By 10pm everyone had gone and we were able to pack up and go home – tired but quite pleased with our adventures.
Blue Ventures would like to thank the London Aquarium for putting on such a worthwhile night and having us there to be a part of it – news on the grapevine is that over £2500 was raised in aid of the event’s chosen charity, The Manta Ray Trust!