Date: 8 August 2023
Nomination by: ProDelphinus.
Gustavo Raúl Rosales Castillo, from the community of Ilo, Perú, is a passionate fisherman and “Guardian” of sea turtles on the high seas. This was highlighted again recently by another noteworthy act of freeing a leatherback to its natural habitat. Along the way, Gustavo has actively participated in various workshops focused on sea turtle conservation and the adoption of best fishing practices for handling sea turtles.
During his artisanal fishing activities in which he generally uses fishing gear called longlines, he has encountered bycatch of loggerhead sea turtles. However, instead of ignoring these events, Gustavo has adopted an attitude of responsibility and commitment to appropriately releasing these animals, and, when possible, documenting these valuable encounters with photos and videos.
Releasing a leatherback turtle is not an isolated event in Gustavo’s life; he has reported numerous such experiences in the past. These actions demonstrate his consistent dedication to the protection and conservation of marine turtles, reaffirming his commitment to conservation of marine biodiversity and ecological equilibrium.
Gustavo’s admirable work not only has a positive impact for turtles, but also represents an inspiring example for other fishermen and community members, highlighting the importance of caring for and protecting our marine environment. His commitment and active participation in sea turtle conservation is a testimony to the power of an individual to generate significant and sustainable change en the marine environment.
For example, Gustavo helps strengthen capacities among fishermen through training them in appropriate techniques for safely releasing sea turtles from fishing gear, as well as methods for applying tags for identification of turtles.
In the photo below, Mr. Gustavo Rosales participating in a training session on applying inconel flipper tags for sea turtles. Photo: ProDelphinus.