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Joanna earns major award

By West Briton  |  Posted: May 31, 2012

Joanna Alfaro Shigueto collecting her award from Princess Anne.

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A GRADUATE from the Tremough campus has been recognised for her efforts to help fishing and wildlife communities on the Pacific coast of South America.

Joanna Alfaro Shigueto has received a £30,000 grant to support her work with the Darwin Initiative project.

A research fellow at the University of Exeter (UoE) in Penryn, she received the Whitley Award for "inspirational conservation leadership".

Originally from Peru, she recently graduated from the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the campus.

The Darwin project, with colleagues from UoE, works with fishermen, non-governmental organisations, and the national fisheries agency in Peru to promote conservation and sustainable fishing.

She is also head of the non-profit Peruvian organisation ProDelphinius, which works to protect endangered marine fauna.

The award, which she received from Princess Anne, also includes professional training.

She said: "It means so much to me and will make a huge difference.

"This work could have an impact on the livelihoods of thousands of small-scale fishermen in Peru, but could also reduce the impact of their fisheries on threatened fauna."

David Wallis, of the Whitley Fund for Nature, said: "The judges were impressed by her success in persuading coastal communities not only that fishing and sealife conservation can co-exist, but that it can be more efficient and profitable."

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