When you look at the planet, it’s mostly blue. The ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. The other 29% is land. Out of all the huge masses of land, there lies a small archipelago called Seychelles. And it is truly paradise on earth. But for myself and the fellow interns, we call it HOME!
My name is Raina Nicette, I am 21 years young and I am student at the University of Seychelles currently studying Environmental Science. I found out about the Blue Economy Internship from my head of faculty, who urged all of the students to apply for this opportunity. I applied because it coincides with my studies and I realised that what I learn from the experience might help me with my dissertation next year (which by the way I already found some great ideas such as histamine in fish, safety in the workplace, marine pollution and so much more). I am undertaking my internship at Indian Ocean Tuna also known as I.O.T.
When you tell people about I.O.T, they think it’s all about gutting fish. Well the joke is on them because the amount of things that the industry does baffles me. They have approximately 9 laboratories which they use to make sure that clients get the best products, and I have been working in one so far. And that is the water lab.
On my first day I got called into an office (FINALLY) and I met the nicest girl whose kindness was soothing. She quickly gave me an induction and then took me to the clinic – YES I.O.T HAS ITS OWN CLINIC – where I was screened and deemed healthy to work. I then received my uniform and proceeded to more inductions. I finally got to work in the afternoon, where they took me to the water lab. I met two fellow 21 year olds and we instantly became friends. From that afternoon to the end of the week, I got to learn several techniques on testing water (some I knew and some I learned).
For example I learned about titration, testing phosphate, testing pH, testing nitrate, testing heavy metals and so much more. I took some pictures of these experiments and they can be seen below. I had to do these experiments with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times as I.O.T is very strict on safety.
Now you may have questions on how is I.O.T helping the Blue Economy? Some ways which I have found out for now is that they use all of the tuna that they catch, even their bye-catch. None is thrown away and this limit pollution in the sea. They also do not fish at their full potential because they are aware of how much tuna they need and going over that limit would be a waste. The water that they return to the ocean (waste water) that is used at the factory when cleaning the fish is thoroughly cleaned out and treated and then is thrown back into the sea and this also limits pollution. The remains of the fish that is not needed is turned into animal food.
I won’t get in too much of the technical stuff yet. Check out my next blog for some awesome chemistry madness. Until next time, signing out as a future scientist.