Conservation lovers know no borders

When I started at WWF, I was a wide-eyed young woman in my early-20s, fresh out of UCT.  Granted, I had been at UCT for 7 years but I had taken my time in finishing my masters.  I started in the perfect place for my cross-over into the “real world”, as an intern in the Environmental Leaders Programme at WWF-SA.

After a couple of years engaging with scientists to conduct the WWF-SASSI assessments that formed the basis of the WWF-SASSI “green|orange|red” traffic light system for sustainable seafood, I became the WWF-SASSI retailer engagement officer. I have been in this position for 5 years and have learnt so much through the work that I do and the companies that I work with. One of the things I love the most is that the work I do impacts what I see in every-day life, and to know that I played a part in this incredible shift towards a more sustainable seafood market in South Africa.

In my time here, I’ve been so grateful for all my experiences, some of which I’d never thought I’d do.  Highlights include walking 60km to Rocking the Daisies; cycling the (then) Cape Argus; getting to explore the largest global seafood trade show in Brussels; successfully putting together multiple Sustainable Seafood Symposiums with the MSC – an event where stakeholders from all aspects of the seafood market can participate; and learning about the commercial side of the seafood market by engaging with my WWF-SASSI Retailer/ Supplier Participants. I couldn’t have asked for a better WWF family, and I hope that whomever I work with next is half as supportive as them.

Now, seven and a half years later, I’m a slightly more tired-eyed young(ish) woman about to start my next big adventure as I move to Adelaide in Australia.  I’ve heard they have tuna-ranching nearby.  Who knows, maybe I’ll give that a go!

Stephanie McGee, outgoing WWF-SA Retail Engagement Officer