About Us


We are a team of experts on fishing technologies. Our work intends to support the Mexican government in the design of novel fishing techniques that allow small-scale fishermen to pursue a progressive livelihood without compromising the existence of the totoaba croaker or vaquita porpoise.


Assist in the design of gear experiments in the Upper Gulf of California

This includes designing sampling procedures, establishing a criteria for selecting fishermen, selecting observers, setting a working calendar and fishing days, producing protocols for data gathering and all other attributes for securing the feasibility of experiments.

Assist in the design of fishing gear

Committee members are to advise INAPESCA on suitable and alternative gear types for testing in the UGC environment, to which are both vaquita-safe and efficient for fishermen to use.

Create a research protocol

A single and unified research protocol that includes gear testing and design recommended by experts is to be submitted.


Christopher Glass, Ph.D.

Director of the Northeast Consortium and Research Professor in the Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory. University of New Hampshire.

Dr. Glass has a long record of conservation gear research in New England’s Fisheries. Prior to joining The Northeast Consortium, Chris served for 9 years as Director of Marine Conservation at Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. Here, he specialized in the study of fish behavior, applying his knowledge to develop more selective fishing gears directed at reducing bycatch and discard in commercial fisheries. Previously Chris worked for 14 years at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen, Scotland and has worked extensively on bycatch reduction and conservation engineering programs throughout Europe and North America. Chris has been a featured lecturer on sustainable fisheries topics at numerous international conferences and has published extensively in scientific journals. His education includes a B.Sc. in Zoology (Marine Biology and Animal Behavior) from The Queens University, Belfast and a Ph.D. from The University of Glasgow.

World Wildlife Fund – Mexico

WWF-Mexico hosts the Secretariat of the Committee. Since 1980, WWF works in Mexico supporting conservation actions in the field, while influencing the environmental policies in Mexico. 

The goal of WWF-Mexico is to protect the natural capital of the country and benefit local communities. 

From the moment WWF start working in Mexico, the conservation of vaquita has been a priority, and since 2008 WWF has collaborated with Mexican Government and Fishing Communities in the Upper Gulf of California in the design and use of fishing gear that allow fishers to make a living without affecting vaquita.

Pablo Arenas

Head of the Mexican Institute of Fisheries (INAPESCA)

Of all the committee members, INAPESCA has the additional responsibility of implementing the experimental protocols defined by the committee. This important task gives INAPESCA a special role among committee members. INAPESCA is a de-centralized federal agency of the Mexican government and is the fisheries research authority in Mexico. Since 2004, INAPESCA has been testing alternative gear for substituting gillnets from the Upper Gulf of California, and has tested different designs for catching finfish, shrimp and other molluscs in the region.

Gary Graham

Marine Fisheries Specialist, Texas Sea Grant Program at Texas A&M University. USA

After more than 40 years of extension work, Gary Graham currently focuses primarily on commercial fisheries bycatch issues, an area in which he has had a long and distinguished career. He started working with the Texas shrimp industry early in the development of turtle excluder devices, or TEDs, which today are 97 percent effective in excluding sea turtles from nets. Today, Graham teaches captains and crews proper installation, use and maintenance of TEDs. In 2014, Graham was honoured with the Gene Raffield Humanitarian Award from the Southeast Fisheries Association for his devotion to educating commercial fishers, demonstration of leadership, and support of fishing communities.

Jeff Gearhart

Research Fisheries Biologist. National Marine Fisheries Service · Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Harvesting and Engineering Branch

Jeff Gearhart works as a Research Fisheries Biologists at the National Marine Fisheries Service. He conducts domestic and international conservation engineering research on various types of fishing gear with emphasis on sea turtle conservation in trawls and gillnets. He is based at the NMFS laboratory in Pascagoula, Mississippi. During the last eight years, he has been following the research in alternative gear in the Upper Gulf.

Lotte Kindt-Larsen

Post Doctoral Researcher at National Institute of Aquatic Resources. Technical University of Denmark. Denmark

Dr. Kindt-Larsen studies the interactions between fisheries and protected, endangered and threatened species. Her work focuses on bycatch monitoring by use of video and sensor systems, bycatch risk predictions, bycatch reduction tools such as acoustic deterrent devices and development of fishing gears to avoid depredation or to protect endangered and threatened species. She is the Danish delegate at ICES council working groups for Bycatch of Protected Species and Fishing Technology and Fish Behavior. She participates in national and international discussions with authorities on management options, best practices and protection of marine mammals and collaborates with fishers for gear development, management options, fishing practices and implementation of CCTV onboard fishing vessels.

Michael Osmond

Senior program officer for Fisheries, World Wildlife Fund, WWF-US.

Michael joined WWF in 2002 for his experience in Marine Protected Areas.   Since 2007, the focus of his work shifted to fisheries management including fisheries improvement projects (FIPs), and bycatch reduction. He is the coordinator of the International Smart Gear Competition, which aims to identify and reward innovative and practical ideas for reducing bycatch in global fisheries. His main duties are planning the Judges Workshop, utilizing a panel of international gear experts to decide the winning entries and interacting with the winning ideas to provide assistance in their development and advancement with the ultimate goal of having the ideas adopted by industry.

Paul Winger

Director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources. Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Canada. 

Dr. Winger has a broad knowledge of fisheries issues with extensive experience in the areas of species- and size-selectivity of fishing gears, reducing bycatch and discard of unwanted species, impacts of fishing on the environment, and resource assessment of emerging fisheries. He has worked on projects ranging from Canada to Norway to Mexico, been invited to speak at several international conferences, and has published a number of papers in scientific journals. He holds a B.Sc. in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Dalhousie University, as well as a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in the field of fish behavior and fish capture, from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Petri Suuronen

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. Resources Use and Conservation Division, Fishing Operations and Technology Branch (FIRO). United Nations Organization.

Dr. Suuronen has 38 years of experience in fisheries with special interest in promotion of responsible fishing practices, bycatch management, management advice, management of research and development programs, and promotion of international co-operation. From 1999-2009 he was the Delegate of Finland in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). He has more than 82 publications and reports on fisheries. Dr. Suuronen is representing FAO in the Committee.

Sara Königson

Researcher at the Department of Aquatic Resources of the Institute of Coastal Research. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Sweden.

Dr. Königson main research area is marine mammal and fisheries interactions. She works with fishing gear development for small-scale fisheries with focus on sustainable and seal-safe fishing gear.

This includes developing new fishing gear and trying them out in collaboration with commercial fisheries as well as studying the behaviour of marine mammals and fish in relation to fishing gear.

Simon Northridge

School of Biology – Senior Lecturer. Sea Mammal Research Unit. Scottish Oceans Institute. University of Saint Andrews. Scotland, United Kingdom.

Dr. Northridge’s work is focused on practical aspects of conservation, including quantifying the impacts of human activities on wildlife and examining the best ways to minimize such impacts. He works mainly with fisheries and aquaculture, quantifying bycatch levels of non-target species, and especially those whose populations are most vulnerable to additional mortality. His main interests are in understanding how and why such interactions occur and in testing ways that may be useful in minimizing any damage caused while maintaining economically important activities.

Tim Werner

Director of the Program in Marine Conservation Engineering at the Aquarium and the Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction. New England Aquarium. USA.

Dr. Werner directs the Program in Marine Conservation Engineering at the Aquarium, as well as the Consortium for Wildlife Bycatch Reduction. He has directed living marine resource management programs in the US, the South Pacific, and Latin America, and holds graduate degrees in marine zoology and business management from Stanford University where he was a 2001 Sloan Fellow.