Specialized Projects

Fellows have unique opportunities to engage in collaborative projects with major initiatives and research groups associated with UC Santa Barbara's prominant faculty, as well as with LAFF Alumni and allied organizations working in the field.

  • Latin American Fisheries Fellowship Fellows communicating over Skype.

    Photo credit: Jacy Brunkow

    Recovery and sustainable management of a "callo" fishery in La Paz, Mexico

    Noroeste Sustentable & 50-in-10

    Directed Research

    Juliana Herrera, Juliano Palacios & Salvador Rodriguez; Rentato Molina (Project Mentor) & Erendira Aceves (Project Mentor)

    Since 2011, Noroeste Sustentable (NOS) has been working with the fishing community of El mangle on the biological restoration the callo de hacha (scallop) fishery in La Ensenada, La Paz in the state of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Despite showing increase in the population, it is still not clear if the fishery has recovered and is ready to be reopened. 

    The main objective of our study is to determine the economic feasibility of fishing callo de hacha in Ensenada under a sustainable scenario. To estimate such feasibility, a biological model including population size-structure, abundance, age-structure and potential yield was developed. An economic component will be added to this model, which will allow the model to generate economic indicators as outputs. Finally, a set of exploitation scenarios will be proposed to the community, considering Mexico's legal framework.

  • Photo: Jason Houston (www.jasonhouston.com)

    Landscape Analysis of Peruvian Artesanal Anchoveta Fishery

    Jose Zenteno

    Sustainable Fisheries Group & The Nature Conservancy

    Directed Research

    The Peruvian anchoveta fishery from the northern-central stock is the largest single fish biomass in the world, providing more than 90% of the total fish landings in Peru. Exports of anchoveta products currently generate around US$2.5 billion annually, which has led to the anchoveta fishery being governed by an interesting but complex spectrum of institutions and regulations, with contrasting management systems for the different operating fleets. This research aims to assess current management dynamics, and identify promising opportunities to explore reforms for enhanced multi-objefctive management reforms. 


  • Rodrigo giving a presentation.

    Photo credit: Jacy Brunkow

    Security of property rights in fisheries and external investment

    Rodrigo Oyanedel

    Directed Research 

    Advised by Christopher Costello

    While completing his MESM degree, Rodrigo Oyanedel (Class of 2015) has been working on a directed research project exploring the effect of property rights security on the perceptions of external investors with the potential to fund fisheries "recovery gaps." Rodrigo's work seeks to determine if property rights in fisheries management can make investment external investors more attractive, and therefore promote investment in fisheries recovery around the globe.

    He is also assisting in the developing of a bio-economic model for a project examining the ability to maintain productivity and incomes in the Tonle Sap fishery in the face of climate change. The model will help to understand trade-offs in reserve placement and fishing pressure management.

  • Renato Presenting at the World Bank in Chile

    Photo: Miguel Jorge

    International presentations

    2nd-year MESM & PhD Fellows

    International Conferences

    Second year MESM and PhD Fellows engage wide audiences in presenting individual and collaborative research at international conferences related to resource management and oceans. Examples include the Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (presenting research on TURF design dynamics, resilience and cooperation in fishing communities, and community led fisheries restoration); Conference on Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems, the International Conference for Conservation Biology, as well as special topics symposiums for the World Bank, amongst many more.

  • Latin American Fisheries Fellowship Fellows watch fishermen at port.

    Photo credit: Jacy Brunkow

    Corvina golfina fishery in El Golfo de Santa Clara, Mexico

    EDF Mexico & Alto Golfo Sustentable

    LAFF Fieldtrip

    Gulfo de Santa Clara, Mexico 

    As a program fieldtrip, LAFF Fellows visit El Gulfo de Santa Clara, Mexico with coordinators from the EDF Mexico program to learn about the upper Gulf of California's gulf corvina fishery, and examine recent management reforms to implement a catch share program for the fishery, referred to by EDF as Manejo Compartido por Cuotas. Fellows had a the opportunity to talk with NGO partners, fishermen, processers, buyers, and a former LAFF Fellow now a program coordinator with EDF to get a sense of how the catch share manangement system has been working in the fishing community. 

  • Shark swimming

    Photo credit: (c) Wolcott Henry 2005: Marine Photobank

    Economic valuation of marine-based tourism and live sharks in Galápagos

    Juan Mayorga & Alexandra Vasquez

    National Geographic Pristine Seas Project & Sustainable Fisheries Group

    Directed Research Project


    National Geographic’s Pristine Seas team, led by Enric Sala, is developing an awareness campaign to push for larger no-take areas as part of the ongoing rezoning of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. To inform this campaign, this project will conduct two analyses: 1) economic valuation of live sharks for tourism in the Galápagos and 2) economic valuation of current marine-based tourism and projections for extended no-take protection. Juan’s work will be focused on the first analysis; conducting in-depth literature reviews, compiling available data and carrying out the appropriate economic analysis.