Jose Orensanz, Ph.D.

Award Year


Jose Orensanz died in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, on Jan. 5, 2015. Orensanz had been a Pew marine fellow since 2000. He was a senior scientist at the CENPAT—CONICET research center, where he focused on benthic shellfish fisheries and championed issues such as ecosystem-based and adaptive management, monitoring, community participation in management, and conservation of seabeds. Orensanz used his Pew fellowship to find ways to alleviate these problems in the case of coastal "S" fisheries: small-scale fishing units targeting sedentary stocks, such as scallops and sea urchins, that are "spatially structured." This means that shellfish are not distributed homogeneously throughout the region, nor are fishing activities. Abundance can vary enormously over relatively short distances. The fisheries that Orensanz worked with during his Pew project are located along the coasts of Brazil, Chile, and Argentine Patagonia. He concentrated on co-management schemes, in an attempt to find effective management alternatives involving fishing communities or organizations, managers, and providers of technical support. As a result of Orensanz's Pew fellowship, the first fishery co-management program in Argentina was launched, which involved government staff, scientists, and artisanal (primarily scallop) fishers in an area of Patagonia known as the San Jose Gulf. This project came about on the heels of a dramatic collapse of the Argentine hake fishery and, partly for that reason, there was a perceived need for better approaches to fishery management. Orensanz is survived by his wife, Ana Parma, Ph.D., a research scientist for Centro Nacional Patagónico who is also a Pew marine fellow.

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