Manager: seafood market transformation programme, WWF

John Duncan

John Duncan’s life has been a struggle between his grandfather’s philosophy of “never stop learning and questioning” and Winnie the Pooh’s “keep life simple”. Duncan started out studying law at the University of Cape Town, but he realised he “wanted to swim with whales” and “become a seaweed farmer”. So he changed to zoology and did his MSc in environmental science, policy and management.

He now runs the seafood market transformation programme for the World Wide Fund for Nature fighting to keep endangered species from being fished to extinction through smart initiatives such as the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative labels which tell you whether the fish you buy has been caught in a sustainable manner.

Duncan educates and works with both sides — the big retailers that buy the fish and the public who demand and consume it — hoping to create an “environmentally conscious market” so that one day he can take his children snorkelling in a sea still teeming with a variety of fifish.

— Sipho Kings McDermott