Know About Marine Science


Marine science includes the study of the ocean, also known as oceanography. We speak to Maria Fernandes, Junior Research Fellow, Goa University, to learn more about this upcoming field


What contributions can the study of marine biology make to society?
As human beings, we are completely dependant on the ecosystem for all our resources, be they food, water, building and other materials or medicines. Many of these resources are found in the ocean. In fact, 70% of the protein that humans consume is from the sea. We have also started using the oceans for dumping waste, fishing, aquaculture and recreation. There is a great need for a complete study and understanding of ocean organisms and ecosystems and that is what marine biology does. A marine biologist has learnt about the ocean and natural ecosystems and is thus trained to make decisions about fishing practices, dumping practices and aquaculture.


What are the career options in this field?
One can start off as a project assistant and then, depending on the setup and individual skills, work one's way up the ladder to become a scientist. In India, there are seven levels of scientists. There are many options and one's designation varies according to individual strengths.


In which sector can a person find employment?
Marine science basically teaches marine biology, chemistry, geology, physics and even geography. So one can avail of a job at the National Institute of Oceanography, the National Centre of Antarctic and Ocean Research, the National Institute of Ocean Technology and other similar institutions.


What are the qualifications required for this career?
One needs to be a Bachelor or Master of Science with marine science as a subject. One also needs to be dedicated and committed to the cause of saving the ocean from the dangers it faces.


What is the nature of the job one would get?
Initially, one needs to travel to varied destinations and collect water samples, sediment samples and biological organisms and study the samples.


What kind of pay scales can one expect?
As a project assistant, you can expect a starting salary of around Rs 12,000 but this also differs from person to person. If a person only has a Bachelor's degree, then he or she might be paid less as compared to someone with a Masterís degree. The pay scale increases gradually along with the designation.