Juliana Herrera, a second-year MESM student, was born in Colombia but has lived in Costa Rica for the past 13 years. She graduated from the University of Costa Rica in 2014 with a Bs in Biology. Between 2008 and 2014, she worked as an assistant researcher for the Unit for Fisheries Research and Aquaculture (UNIP), part of the Investigation Centre of Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR). She worked on a monitoring program with commercial shrimp boats as an on-board observer, having the opportunity to participate in a project investigating the distribution, abundance, reproduction and feeding habits of by-catch elasmobranchs along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
In 2011, Juliana got involved in a project titled “Evaluation and monitoring of fishery resources, Golfo Dulce,” participating in research activities spanning trawling, gillnet, and scuba. In 2013 Juliana started a project in the Humedal Nacional Térraba-Sierpe, southern Pacific of Costa Rica, to evaluate the habitat use of elasmobranchs and bony fish as a possible nursery area.
As a Latin American Fisheries Fellow, Juliana has a particular interest in sustainable seafood markets, and how partnerships can incentives sustainable and legal fishing practices while providing fishers with a sustainable source of income. Her group project explored the feasibility of connecting small-scale fishers in Costa Rica to large retailers that have made commitments to supply sustainably caught seafood.
In Juliana's current role as Standards Specialist for FairTrade USA, she works on the development of standards in their new and growing initiative for fishieries certifications. Her role as such involves facilitating stakeholder outreach processes on standards content, public consultations, and ensuring balanced decision-making in determining the final standards across a portfolio of fisheries that are being evaluated. Juliana is excited to expand Fair Trade's sustainable fisheries certifications in Latin America, as a platform to improve sustainable fisheries practices and community development in Latin America.