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Helping Tohoku and the Sharks with Dr Mareike Dornhege

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

Dr. Mareike Dornhege is such a cool and powerful woman! I hope you will enjoy our episode this week as we continue the remembering 3-11 theme.

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a screenshot of yourself listening to the episode on your device, post it to your Instagram Stories, and tag me and Mareike, @transforamtionswithjayne and @mareike_and_the_sharks.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Mareike became a shark researcher and marine ecologist

  • What brought her to Japan 10 years ago

  • Her experience in Tokyo on 3-11 and trying to get home again after the earthquake

  • How her research helped the port of Kesenuma to rebuild as a sustainable fishing port

  • Her advice for sustainable seafood consumption and why we should all be doing this

About Mareike

Half Dutch, half German, Mareike (pronounce: Ma-rye-ka) hails from the sea and grew up in a family of avid sailors. She has always loved the ocean and turned it into her passion and career. As an 8-year old she left her mum puzzled over scientifically accurate drawings of blue sharks. But her family supported her passion and at 14, her father signed off on her first scuba diving license. Two decades later, she is a doctor of marine ecology and a divemaster, teaching others how to dive and showing them a whole new world underwater.

Mareike is the chief science officer of a marine conservation startup in Asia, Ocean Eye, and a shark researcher. She has published her research in Nature, the world’s most acclaimed science journal, and appeared on Shark Week. She completed her Ph.D. research in northern Japan and she was faced with a unique problem: while the world’s fisheries were in crisis with rapidly dwindling fish stocks, so were the fishermen of northern Japan.

They had lost everything in the severe tsunami of 3/11 that devastated whole swats of coastal towns. While originally an animal lover, her work in Kesennuma forced her to see the duality of people/environment of the problem. The oceans were suffering, but so were the people now after their town and once highly productive port were destroyed. And with Japan’s highly resilient attitude of persistence, here lay a huge opportunity: that for rebuilding sustainably to serve both nature and people better.

Connect with Mareike

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