30 years working on Bycatch
How to Release Sea Turtles
Over the years I have been a bit wise, a bit lucky, in selecting a team of people that are the reason we had achieved success in reducing dolphin mortality, and maintaining an international program that has kept the mortality low for over 20 years. Their dedication and initiative has also enabled me to explore other areas of research and to develop and publish a practical approach to bycatch that is expected to help many others working in similar challenges.
I have also counted on the support and friendship of many colleagues, and of representatives of many conservation organizations, governments and the fishing industry.
Last but not least: the work of the observers has been critical to understand the causes of bycatch and our constructive relationship with the fishermen from the industrial and artisanal fleets has been the source of the solutions.
Since 1984 Head of Bycatch Programs and Agreement for the International Dolphin Conservation Program - Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission IATTC
1983 - 1984 Researcher, Centro Nacional Patagónico, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
1977 - 1982 Fulbright Fellowship, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
1973 - 1977 Head of the Seaweed Resources Program, Puerto Madryn, Argentina
1972 - 1973 Fellowship for Advanced Training in Biometry and Biostatistics,
Institute of Neurobiology, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1970 - 1972 Teaching Assistant, Univ. of Buenos Aires
1970 - 1972 Researcher on Ecology of Seaweeds/Benthic Communities, Centro de Investigaciones de Biología Marina, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Reducing Porpoise Mortality from Tuna Fishing. 1989 - 1992.
Member of the Steering Committee of the Solving Bycatch National Workshop, and Convener of the Management Solutions (International) Session. 1994-1995.
Member of the Board of Directors of the National Fisheries Conservation Center. 8/9\
Member of the Standards Committee, Marine Stewardship Council, 2001.
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina 2001- (WWF Partner Org.)
Member of the Scientific, Academic and Resource management section of the Stakeholder Council, Marine Stewardship Council, 2002 –2006. 2011 -
Member of the Technical Advisory Board, Marine Stewardship Council 2006-2009
Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Seafood Watch 2003 – 2005, 2014 -
Member of the Jury “Smart Gear” awards 2005 –Chair of the Steering Committee, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation Meeting to reduce bycatch in the tuna purse seine fisheries on Fish Aggregating Devices. November 2009
FAO Expert Consultation on "International Guidelines for Bycatch Management and Reduction of Discards", December 2009.
Member of the Steering Committee of the Circle Hook Symposium – Miami, May 4-6, 2011.
Member of the Scientific Committee on Bycatch – International Seafood Sustainability Foundation 2009 –
Taller para Capitanes de Barco English Subtitles
- Expansion of international observer program from 3% to 100% between 1984 and 1992, and adherence of all nations fishing in the region.
- Management of the second largest observer program in the world.
- Identification of the major factors causing or increasing dolphin mortality in the fishery.
- Development and implementation of a fishers training program to improve performance in reducing dolphin mortality.
- Reduction of dolphin mortality from over 130,000 in 1986 to less than 900 in recent years, while maintaining the fishing operations at a high level.
Other fisheries issues:
- Development of strategies for bycatch reduction programs, and provision of technical and managerial advice to fisheries facing bycatch problems (e.g. bycatches on Fish Aggregating Devices).
- Initiation of a multinational artisanal fishers program to reduce sea turtle bycatch along the Pacific Coast of America.
- Development and implementation of the first bycatch management system based on individual vessel quotas.
- Development and implementation of the Agreement for the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP), a 19-nation treaty.
- Development and implementation of the first transparent mechanism to monitor compliance with fisheries: the International Review Panel of the AIDCP.