Valeska has been in love with the ocean and all its creatures since she was very little. Becoming a marine biologist and activist to spent her life working for the health of the ocean was all she wanted to do. Valeska is currently studying MSc Marine Biology at the University of Bremen and is a trained scientific diver.
She has previously worked with Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd in Germany. Valeska joined the organization as a Citizen Inspector and is now the director of FishAct since spring 2016.
“Industrial fishing can‘t be compared to any other form we‘re exploiting non-human animals today. Nowhere else are so many individuals dying every day unnoticed and unheard. One reason that this can happen is that it takes place completely out of sight, far out on the open ocean where nobody is watching. With our work we can actually show people what is happening in the fishing industry.”
Sofian grew up on the Mediterranean coast in Tunisia, where he started developing an affinity for the sea at an early age. After moving to Germany at age 19 to study environmental engineering, Sofian started to look for a way of giving back to the sea and joining the fight of ocean activists around the world to protect the blue heart of our planet.
After getting first involved in 2015 he is now part of the team coordinating the Citizen Inspector Network, training new people, planning and carrying out investigations.
“The fact that I’m able to do a variety of different activities that are not necessarily related to each other within the same organization is one of the things I like most about FishAct. There are no boxes that one has to fit in, everyone can use any type of skill they have and apply them to different projects or fields of expertise to make a difference for our oceans.”
Always looking for new and exciting forms of civic engagement Josef was volunteering for several environmental organisations in the past. He organized German courses for refugees and worked for campact, a petition platform for democratic policy change.
He is currently studying MSc Social Politics at Bremen University. He is a founding member of FishAct Germany, where he is organising regional and national events, projects and campaigns.
“Illegal fishing is not only an environmental issue, but an severe social justice issue. The work of FishAct is important, because it shows people what is actually happening in the european fishing industry. Crime and injustice need to be uncovered!”
Web designer & IT
Benny is a marine biologist, who uses his passion for photography, design and music for combating environmental issues. As a founding member of FishAct in Germany, he has been participating in many actions and is a trained Citizen Inspector.
Doing a PhD in Phytoplankton ecology and computational modeling, he sees great need for not just basic research, but applied environmental conservation.
“FishAct was my introduction to the environmental movement, and I couldn’t be happier with this group of friends, trying to make a difference together. The current economic paradigm is not geared for sustainability, and eventually our oceans, forest, and grasslands will collapse if there is no decided action on the part of us humans.”
Jack grew up on the coast in Devon and spent much of his time in the water. He has been a self-professed naturalist since he can remember and joined Greenpeace when he was 12. Now as a Masters of marine biology finalist he hopes to continue working for change in the oceans. He is also involved in activism fighting food waste and marine plastic through other organisations.
“I have my Grandma to thank for my love of the natural world, she inspired me but now everywhere I look is evidence of degradation. Our main lifeline as humans is the ocean, it is out great global regulator, not to mention being beautiful, so I aim to do all I can to help protect it. I love FishAct for its direct message against illegal overfishing and its active role in making a difference in protecting our ecosystem. It is such a great group of passionate people actually doing something!”
Social Media Admin
From as long as she can remember, Caitlin has loved the mystery and wonder of the ocean. This passion never ceased and she became a budding marine biologist and ocean activist.
She is currently working towards a MSc in Marine Biology through the University of Southampton, though she is currently studying abroad at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. By far her biggest passion is FishAct, starting by volunteering on stalls almost four years ago, to now coordinating the international social media channels.
“I love the passion everyone at FishAct has and I firmly believe we can help make a positive change for our oceans!”