July 16, 2013
Free Willy, Journals, and Saving Sharks: Q+A with Ocean Hero Youth Finalist Sean Lesniak
BY: Justine Sullivan
Sean Lesniak – Lowell, MA.
A lifelong shark lover, Sean, 8, convinced his state representative, David Nangle, to address the brutal practice of shark finning in Massachusetts. In response to Sean’s request, Rep. Nangle filed a bill on his behalf to increase the fines and penalties on the practice of shark finning and Sean spoke on the bill’s behalf before the state Legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee earlier this month. The bill, if passed, would impose fines or imprisonment on a statewide level in addition to already existing federal penalties for violators.
What inspired you to get involved in ocean conservation?
I have loved sharks since I was three years old.
What was your first victory and when did you start believing you could make a difference?
When I found out I would be able to present at the State House and hopefully pass my bill.
What is one piece of advice someone has given you that has aided your efforts? Who gave you that advice and how did it affect you?
That you can’t know if you will make a difference unless you try and tell people how you feel about something. My dad gave me that advice.
Where do you want your ocean conservation efforts to go next?
I want to do whatever I can to protect sharks and the oceans they live in.
What is the one tool/piece of equipment/article of clothing/gadget that you possess that you couldn’t complete your efforts without? Why is it so critical to your efforts?
My journal, because everytime I learn something new relating to animals and the oceans I write it down in my journal.
What is your favorite ocean-related book or movie?
Inspired by Sean Lesniak? Vote for him to be a 2013 Youth Ocean Hero!