Born into a centuries old Jersey family, Andrew Syvret has salt in his blood. As a young boy he worked out local tide tables before mastering times tables and dreamt of growing up to be one of the lighthouse-keepers at La Corbière. Sadly, modern electronics killed that dream with automation in 1974. It’s been said he has never fully recovered, or grown up.
For a while teaching English or writing for a living appealed, but a swift exit from school closed that door. A few years in the investment management industry in the mid-1980’s proved valuable, but also served to firm his resolve to follow a different route to retirement. For Andrew, Black Monday was a blessing.
From office to fresh air - the relief was instantaneous. Working with the sea whet an appetite eager to return to education and several summers spent at Fort Regent Signal Station soothed the aches of an unfulfilled lighthouse-keeper. An honours degree in fisheries science at the University of Plymouth and a season’s research aboard the Island’s shellfish fleet, followed by a placement with the University of Hawaii set him on the right track - a newly created States of Jersey Environmental Services Unit were seeking a marine adviser.
Mid-1996 until the close of 2001 saw Andrew responsible for the marine functions of the Island’s Planning and Environment Department. Pinnacle Marine Limited was established in 1998 to undertake this role. Amid a myriad of other tasks, he drafted the early stages of Jersey’s Integrated Coastal Zone Management Strategy and carried out much of the groundwork that led to the successful designation of 32sqkm of intertidal wilderness on our Southeast Coast as the Channel Island’s first Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Beyond this milestone, an additional six Ramsar Sites have subsequently been listed on our unique island chain - Andrew lent a helping hand with all of them.
Since 2002 he has been entirely devoted to environmental advocacy and the survival of Pinnacle Marine Limited. MV Pilgrim took longer to build than anticipated, but has been a joy from launch. Six years labouring as boatman servicing ferry links to Normandy and Sark kept the wolf from the door, plus helped clear the path leading to an old Manche farmhouse. Along the way, Andrew lectured on ormer conservation at the Linnean Society, chaired the Marine Biology Section of the Société Jersiaise for a decade and untied the last Emeraude Lines ferry to leave Jersey. A capable French speaker, in 2009 with European partners he made a first historic request for access to an area of Bailiwick seabed - to explore the potential for a community-owned offshore renewable energy installation. Never shy of trying something new, at the same time he was working as a postman.
Over the last few years Andrew has been happily experimenting with small-scale edible seaweed harvests, seafood smoking and sampling plenty vins naturels – special products soon to come to market. He has also worked as a consultant to one of the brightest innovators in the world of cosmetics, continued to take people out as an occasional fishing guide, made many media appearances as spokesman for Save Our Shoreline and is regularly called upon by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust as a guest speaker. His first book is now ‘half finished’.
A natural born green communicator, when out and about with a group Andrew often simply ‘thinks aloud’ - prompted by surroundings and discoveries. Comfortable when addressing all levels of understanding from infant to post-graduate, he has already guided several thousand souls across the Island’s shores and around its coastal waters, by day and night. Being anywhere near the sea remains one of his ultimate pleasures…
Violet Bank Lunatic ~ Est. 1996
“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” Sir Isaac Newton