Talking about World Oceans Day with The Deep’s new CEO

Published: Thursday 8th June 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is World Oceans Day. We caught up with the new Chief Executive of The Deep, Katy Duke, to find out how we can help preserve our seas.

Katy takes over from the recently retired Colin Brown following various roles at the aquarium since 2001. She began her career at The Deep as a Senior Aquarist after relocating from Deep Sea World in Scotland.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be taking on the role,” she tells us. “This year we’re focusing on celebrating Hull UK City of Culture. We want to make sure that we’re part of everything within the city. The Deep is very much a Hull brand, we’re not a chain. We’re a one-off organisation that’s very much part of the city.”

The aquarium has already hosted an array of City of Culture exhibitions, including its own marine art series and some of the Hull 2017 Look Up installations.

Katy is also looking forward to reopening the much-loved coral exhibit later this year: “Unfortunately, there was a fire in the aquarium last year and we lost our 16-year-old coral display. We’ve been busy getting everything ready to reopen.”

The new CEO is keen to continue to develop The Deep as a successful visitor attraction and educational facility:

“Over the past few years, we have become a globally renowned organisation, working and collaborating with international aquariums and conservation projects.”

Katy has been at the heart of this development, taking the aquarium’s conservation and research agenda to a global audience. She has a real passion for spreading the word about projects that its dedicated team of experts is carrying out.

“We’ll continue working with IUCN, the oldest conservation organisation in the world. The Deep is heavily involved in the red-listing process.”

The IUCN Red List helps the planet decide which species we should be prioritising and investing in.

“The Deep is involved with global projects as well as local ones. We’re currently working to protect the tansy beetle, an insect native to Yorkshire that is only found in the River Ouse.”

World Oceans Day focuses on four key ideas: changing perspectives, learning, changing our ways, and celebrating our oceans. The Deep very much lives and breathes these concepts.

“We’re keen to take conservation messages to a family audience,” maintains Katy. “After all, children are the next generation of conservationists.”

As well as acting as an educational hub for marine life, the aquarium is keen to help people change their behaviours to improve the state of the oceans.

They are fully behind the #OneLess campaign, which encourages people to opt for a reusable water bottle rather than buy multiple one-use plastic versions:

“We’ve recently seen a decrease in the use of plastic shopping bags thanks to the 5p bag charge. We now want to take this a step further. It’s all about small changes that we can make in our everyday lives.”

“The oceans are incredibly important, whether you live on the coast or inland,” Katy adds. “We all rely on them for a food source as well as the air we breathe. Most of the oxygen we need to live comes from the ocean.”

Nevertheless, oceans are notoriously hard to protect, as you can’t always see what is happening beneath the waves.

To find out more about how you can get involved with World Oceans Day, please visit the official website.

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Published: Thursday 8th June 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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