Date: 26 June 2023
Authors: Nelly De Paz and Elizabeth Gutiérrez Llanos.
Nomination made by: ACOREMA (Áreas Costeras y Recursos Marinos. Ica, Perú).
Yhensy Ruddy Rospigliosi Chambi is from Perú and has been a fisherman for many years. He has collaborated with the non-governmental organization ACOREMA (acronym in Spanish, Coastal Areas and Marine Resources) since 2016, participating as an on-board observer for the first time. Yhensy has always shown great interest in learning about different marine animal species, especially sea turtles, as well as learning techniques for recovering, handling, and releasing turtles that interact with fishing gear.
Yhensy has worked for years on 3 fishing vessels that use different fishing gears: mid-water gillnets and longlines.
Although the project that Yhensy worked with has since ended, his interest and motivation kept him collecting information onboard the fishing vessels he works on. He showed his fishermen colleagues release techniques that he had learned, in spite of their lack of interest at first. Little by little, he has been gaining the interest and participation of other fishermen in implementing best practices for releasing sea turtles accidentally captured in fishing gear.
One of Yhensy’s most important contributions is documenting 16 leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), known as “Galápagos” in Peru) bycatch events. These fisheries in which Yehnsy works sometimes have trips of a month or more at sea, where he is making these observations and efforts to handle and release turtles in addition to his fishing duties.
These highly valuable reports of leatherback bycatch have highlighted the importance of these fisheries in this port as a source of leatherback mortality, which has led to increased efforts to inform and train fishermen, and to increase onboard observation in this fishery, to promote adoption of best handling and release practices for leatherbacks and other species.
Thanks to the motivation of Yhensy Rospigliosi, we have demonstrated the effectiveness of these techniques and have recommended effective and adequate tools for releasing turtles from fishing operations where he is working.