Participating fishermen helping to release an accidently caught leatherback turtle. Credit: ProDelphinus

Bioscience researchers awarded Darwin Initiative grant.

University of Exeter researchers have been awarded a two-year grant to promote the conservation of threatened marine animals, including sea turtles, seabirds and marine mammals, by encouraging more sustainable fishing practices in Peru’s small-scale fisheries.

The £188,353 grant entitled ‘Linking marine biodiversity conservation and fisher prosperity through marketplace innovation’ will see Exeter Biosciences researchers Dr Jeff Mangel, Dr Joanna Alfaro and Professor Brendan Godley from the University’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall build upon previous work that resulted in significant developments in sustainable management of Peru’s marine biodiversity.

The goal of the project is to develop an integrated system that promotes marine biodiversity conservation, small-scale fishery sustainability and creates a marketplace for sustainably fished products that distributes conservation costs and promotes fisher empowerment and poverty alleviation.

The researchers will provide fishers with the training, equipment, and expert oversight necessary to fish sustainably and will provide a clear path to marketplaces, including restaurants and dealers. 

The researchers hope that this system could serve as a model for other small-scale fisheries in Peru and throughout the developing world.

Date: 24 October 2014

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