Sara’s passion for marine conservation her d(r)iving force
Meet Dr Sara Andreotti. She is one of the founding directors and the COO of SharkSafe Barrier Pty. an eco-friendly technology that combines magnetic and visual stimuli to deter shark species that are considered dangerous to humans.
Sara is a marine biologist who have been working in the in white shark’s research field since 2007. She obtained a PhD in Zoology in 2015 at Stellenbosch University on white shark’s population dynamics and genetics.
As for all start-ups, Sara’s role has to be very flexible and spans from sales and client service to PR, and occasionally also commercial diver, when assisting their engineer with research and development work, and surveys.
Sara says she thinks her best quality is the passion she has for the main goal of their company, which is ultimately to contribute towards preserving and conserving marine life.
She says her motivation lies in realising that we have a tangible chance to make a real difference for the marine environment as well as for society. “When we started this work, it was mostly about saving sharks from shark-nets but, as we progressed, I am seeing the ripple effect that our business can also have for local communities relying on marine tourism, surfers, and the product manufacturers. So what motivates me is now a combination of true love for the marine environment, the support from our team and the people close to me, and a sense of responsibility for the benefits that our business has the opportunity to bring to society.”
If Sara had the power in the world to fix one problem, she would fix social injustice, so that no one will have their life path predetermined by external factors. “I realise that this is not something realistically fixable in my lifetime, so I will try to fix what I can, which is the senseless use of shark-cull as a policy for reducing shark-related accidents to beach-goers.”
She believes that a lot of the qualities for being an entrepreneur are skills that can be learned and developed over time. “I don't think that there is a formula that can fit all entrepreneurs, as all businesses are slightly different from each other, and it ultimately comes down to having a good team with different individuals, each bringing their qualities to the table. But if I have to pick three, I think that resilience, empathy and self-discipline can go a long way.”
SharkSafe was recently recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) digital platform UpLink as one of the top ocean innovators and was chosen as one of eleven innovations that have the potential to address some of the most important challenges in the marine environment.
Read more about SharkSafe here.