Along Peru’s coast, fishing has long been part of local life. Dr. Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto has made it her mission to ensure that this fishing is done sustainably and that local communities live in harmony with the region’s sea turtles and other marine wildlife. As the President of the Peru-based NGO ProDelphinus, Joanna is an important voice for the development of sustainable fisheries and protection of marine fauna in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
Sustainable fishing is important not just to protect at-risk species, but also to ensure that local people who rely on the ocean’s resources continue to have a source of food and income. Joanna researches the impacts of artisanal fisheries on ocean-dwelling species and tests ways to reduce these impacts. The lessons learned from this work can be applied around the world.
She has worked closely with the impoverished and often marginalized fishermen and fishing communities of Peru as well as with the Peruvian government. Joanna’s efforts include spearheading educational programs to reach out to the next generation of fishermen in ports with high levels of sea turtle mortality and human consumption of turtles. She provides access to equipment that catches only target species while leaving animals like the sea turtles unharmed and encourages fishermen to return accidental catches to the sea. She also works with Peruvian restaurants to create a market for sustainably caught fish, therefore potentially increasing fishermen’s profits.
By empowering fishermen with knowledge and tools, Joanna has enabled them to reduce their impacts on sea turtles and other marine life. In recognition of her efforts, Joanna received a Whitley Award in 2012. She is also currently the President-Elect of the International Sea Turtle Society.
We look forward to welcoming Dr. Joanna Alfaro Shigueto as a guest speaker at the 2014 Wildlife Conservation Expo.
Support Sea Turtles
To support sea turtle conservation and Joanna’s work, donate to ProDelphinus by selecting Sea Turtle on the dropdown menu.
Learn more about Joanna’s work by visiting http://www.prodelphinus.org/en/