Assistant Professor Leandro Castello has been awarded a marine conservation fellowship by The Pew Charitable Trusts. He will use the fellowship, which supports research to improve ocean conservation and management, to determine the best way to generate catch-rate data for tropical fish.

Roughly one-third of the global fish yield comes from the tropics; however, lack of data on species abundance makes managing tropical fisheries difficult. Castello plans to engage with local fishers in his home country of Brazil and use their expertise to develop a handbook of practical guidelines that will help them gather their own catch-rate data and apply it in fisheries management.

Castello will begin by interviewing fishers about past fishing events and comparing their responses with government data to determine the reliability of their memories. “Fishers are a principal element of a fishery, just like the fish they harvest. Without their buy-in, our management recommendations are unlikely to succeed,” he explained.

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