Mermaid of the Month: June – Malin Jacob

The work Malin does in Hold Norge Rent (HNR)/Keeping Norway Clean – cleaning beaches all over Norway and raising awareness about marine pollution is an example to follow. Malin and HNR have lifted the marine pollution onto the political agenda and contributed to hundreds of people taking to the beaches. Keep it up! Let’s make Norway clean again!

Malin Jacob, is a 28-year-old southener who lives from- and to remove trash from the ocean. She is a member of the blogging collective ‘Grønne Jenter’. She has a tattoo of a stinging jellyfish on her thie.  She has been told that she has a ‘marine personality disorder’ and is happiest with the «ta’an i tanga».  

What are you up to now?

We have just completed the annual beach cleaning day, and I am proud to say that over 25,000 people participated from across the country. It is so great to think about how much garbage we have prevented from ending up into the sea again. Our job going ahead will be to make sure that data from all the beaches throughout Norway is collected so we can map out the sources of marine pollution – and take action on them.

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Other than that I am planning a roadtrip with last Mermaid of the Month, Pia Ve Dahlen. We are driving around in Norway with an electric car to focus on environmentally friendly means of transport, and show how beautiful Norway is as a vacation destination.

And we are also writing a book in ‘Grønne Jenter’!

What do you do to take care of the ocean? What does tavaha mean to you?
I feel that I have spent my entire youth and adult life (so far) taking care of the ocean. I started in the Norwegian environmental organization ‘Natur og Ungdom’ when I was fourteen years old. We were working to stop oil drilling in the Farsund Basin. And we did! It’s a historic victory, even today.  I also worked with the campaigns for an oil-free Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja.

My day-time job is to work for HRN with marine pollution, and I have contributed to research, reports, beach clean-ups, and as project manager for the national beach cleaning day. And naturally, I work to keep my own carbon footprint at a minimum.

Tavaha means to me unity. It’s the ocean that binds us people together. Caring for the ocean is caring for each other.

What do you think is the biggest challenge we must solve to save the ocean
Climate change, acidification, overfishing, marine pollution – they are all symptoms of the same problem. We are living in a time of headless global resource management, where no value is given to nature, and short-term profit is more important than anything else. We must fight against this ignorance and selfishness.

What are your three #tavahatips to take care of the ocean?
1. Tidy a beach. It may seem insignificant in the big context, but think about it – there are actually over 25,000 only in Norway that do this. And according to research, beach cleaning is the most effective way of removing marine waste from the sea to date.
2. Now that Norway is going into election time, vote for a party that wants the sea, the environment and the planet to thrive.
3. Use the WWF Seafood Guide app. Here you can easily find the seafood you can eat with a good conscience, a which types to say clear of!

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What is your happiest ocean-moment?
When I crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a sailboat in 2014. I was fortunate enough to join a research expedition with 13 other women to research the effect of micro-plastics. There are few tours in my life that have been this exciting- so demanding and so relaxing at the same time.

Who are your everyday heroes

Oh, they are so many. My colleagues in HRN/Keep Norway Clean and Grønne Jenter. Also, anyone who are dedicating their lives to making the world a better place, many of which have already been named Merman and Mermaid of the month. You are awesome!

And finally, what would you like to thank the oceanfor
That it served as a playground for my in my childhood, when I chased around the fjord in an eggshell with a 2.5 horsepowers, and was became confident in the ocean. Also, thank you ocean for giving me the food I eat and the air I breathe!

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