April 24, 2021
12:45 pm PDT
Throughout the Americas and reaching all the way to Africa’s shores, MarAlliance works to conserve sharks and rays. These phantoms of the deep have graced Earth’s oceans for 400 million years, but roughly 24% of sharks and rays are nearing extinction due to overfishing, pollution, and habitat degradation. MarAlliance has spent decades working with local fishers to develop effective conservation goals, document shark and ray distribution, and discourage harmful fishing practices. They also conduct research to establish marine protected areas and offer community and children outreach programs to convey the importance of these vital marine predators.
Dr. Rachel Graham
Dr. Rachel Graham has been fascinated by the ocean ever since her childhood in Tunisia. For over 23 years, she has worked with fishers throughout the Latin America to conduct impactful community-based research and conservation of large marine wildlife. Rachel holds a BSc. in Zoology from Oxford, an MSc. from Edinburgh, and a Ph.D. from the University of York, UK. In 2011, Rachel won the Whitley Fund for Nature Gold Award, and in 2014 she founded MarAlliance to promote impactful and inclusive grassroots science and conservation of marine wildlife, including sharks, rays, and threatened finfish.
Panama Country Coordinator
Megan received her BSc. in Environmental Science from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MSc. in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Exeter. Her previous work has focused on humpback whales off the Pacific coast of Panama and marine turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Belize. Megan moved back to Panama in 2015, hoping to make a difference for the marine life and habitats there, which she has seen drastically change since she was a child. She has been leading the MarAlliance team in Panama since then, where her work focuses on monitoring marine megafauna, coastal fisheries, and sawfish.
Photography credit: (c) MarAlliance