While ichthyologist Luiz Rocha spends a great deal of his life studying fishes hundreds of feet beneath the ocean’s surface, he is no stranger to advocacy on dry land. Rocha’s career as a museum scientist includes a prolific dedication to the protection of globally threatened species—a responsibility that drives him to crisscross the globe in defense of marine life that cannot speak for itself.
“Fish are one of the last animal resources commercially harvested from the wild by humans,” says Rocha. “Unfortunately, the false perception that marine resources are infinite is still common in our society, and in order to preserve marine resources we need to reverse this old mentality.”
Rocha is an expert contributor to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)—the global environmental network in charge of compiling the definitive Red List of Threatened Species™. As a member of countless working groups, Rocha collaborates with fellow scientists to pinpoint threatened marine species, design management recommendations, and stage international workshops for stakeholders in the United States, Fiji, Hong Kong, Brazil, and beyond.