Christian Barrientos is a fisheries biologist with 20 years of experience focusing on small scale fisheries (SSF), invasive species, protected areas, community-based management, and conservation. Originally from Guatemala, he has worked on fisheries issues in North and Central America, Central Africa, and different international efforts for global fisheries and MPA policy. He attended University of Florida and after completing his M.Sc., he was awarded a prestigious Knauss fellowship to work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in the National Fishery Service. He worked to understand how to be a liaison between science and policy.
After finishing in NOAA, he decided to return to the University of Florida and was accepted in the doctoral degree program in Fisheries with a focus on understanding sustainability of SSF. He evaluated non-native fishes, life history and fishery dynamics with implications on the SSF. He worked the last 6 years in Equatorial Guinea, Africa as Wildlife Conservation Society country director with a project that involved basically SSF in coastal protected areas. His approach was to implement participatory and community research and management, fisheries value chain, coastal management, environmental and fishery policy.
Lately working on Marine Spatial Planning to ensure that SSF are equal partners with other stakeholders. Nowadays he is the marine coordinator for WCS in the Mesoamerican program, with 5 countries and different MPA/MSP projects. He is based in Belize.
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