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Christina Shaw

Christina Shaw

Vanuatu

Veterinary Surgeon & Conservationist

Originally a Veterinary surgeon from the UK, Christina spent several years working and travelling around the world and eventually settled in Vanautu where I have lived for the last 12 years. After completing her masters in Veterinary conservation medicine, she founded a conservation NGO – the Vanautu Environmental Science Society in 2014. With a focus on threatened species conservation, she works with local communities to conserve animals such as dugongs and the endemic flying foxes as well as conducting scientific studies to fill the data gap on the knowledge of these animals. Christina is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Sirenia Specialist Group. Animals need their habitat and so she also work to protect seagrasses, coral reefs and forests. Plastics in the environmental affects all these habitats and animals which is why she has picked up a lot of rubbish! We organise cleanups with data collection which have been used by politicians as evidence to support the plastic bans that have come into force in Vanuatu. She continues to work on the issue of plastic pollution and finding solutions that work for the small island country. She is also a scuba instructor and partner in a dive shop in Port Vila and conduct underwater cleanups. After a devastating cyclone there in 2015 she removed over 12 tonnes of boat debris from boats wrecked in the storm in the harbour. Another project she is currently working on is with the Global Ghost Gear initiative on validating a model for where lost gear accumulates and removing ALDFG. She is also controlling a Crown-of-thorns-starfish outbreak on the reefs by injecting them with vinegar. She inherited a love of sailing from her father and as a child sailed in the Mediterranean. As an adult she have completed a couple of ocean crossings – one from LA to Hawaii and more recently crewed for a boat delivery from here in Vanautu to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.

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