Whale Shark in Ras Mohammed National Park Credit: Cinzia Osele Bismarck / Ocean Image Bank

Ocean predators like rays and sharks are vital to creating balance and stability for marine life. The 2021 Young Marine Biologist Summit brought marine experts from around the world to highlight the importance of ocean predators, share knowledge and inspire the next generation of marine biologists.

Hosted by the Marine Biological Association (MBA) in partnership with Save our Seas Foundation; speakers and guests from the United States, India, Sri Lanka, Somalia, The Philippines, Malta, Spain, and many more countries around the globe took part this year’s Summit. 

The Guardian bestselling writer, broadcaster and science adviser Dr Helen Scales hosted the two-day online Summit alongside MBA Head of Communications Maya Plass. 

Back by popular demand, the Sealife Showdown returned on the second day of the Summit. From the terrifyingly enormous Colossal Squid to the powerful and swift Thresher Shark, seven passionate marine biologists battled it out to prove their favourite ocean predator was the ‘most awesome’. After an audience vote via LivePoll, deep sea ‘creeper’ the Goblin Shark represented by Dr Isla Hodgeson was named the winner.  

To close the Summit, MBA honorary fellow and Founder of Mission Blue, Dr Sylvia Earle and shark scientist, TV presenter and author Melissa Cristina Márquez took part in a live Q&A session. The panel provided tips and advice on how to become a marine biologist and how furthering our understanding of the ocean and the life that resides there should be essential for safeguarding the planet. 

Dr Sylvia Earle, also known as “Her Deepness” said: "I am so inspired to see kids fall in love with sharks...we should be regarding them with dignity and respect and understand their vital role in maintaining the integrity of the ocean."

"We should all of us wherever we are, whatever we do, treat the ocean as if our lives depend on it, because they do."

The 2021 Young Marine Biologist Summit is available to watch on the Marine Biological Association YouTube Channel. Inspired by this year’s Summit? Why not take part in our writing challenge to be in with a chance of winning some great prizes! Entries will be judged by a team of experts led by author and broadcaster, Dr Helen Scales.

All entries must be received by 18:00pm (UK Time) Wednesday the 5th of January 2022. Find out more by visiting the writing challenge website.

Next year’s Summit from Saturday 26 to Sunday 27 November, 2022 will explore the Hidden Ocean – the microscopic world which sustains all life on earth. 

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Dec 1, 2021 By nerblo