Mauro Maida, Ph.D.


Mauro Maida is an oceanographer and marine ecologist specializing in coral reef protection. He has been a scientist at the Federal University of Pernambuco since 1995, where his research addresses the management and conservation of coral reefs in Brazil. Maida also heads the Laboratory of Benthic Ecology in the Department of Oceanography. Maida used his Pew fellowship to conduct a broad reef survey in northern Brazil, to study reef recovery capacity, and to map potential sources of coral “recruits” (corals and fish) to replenish depleted reefs. Brazil’s coral reefs, the only ones in the South Atlantic, have the highest proportion of endemic coral species in the world. Maida worked on 12 areas within a 525-square-kilometer section of reef off the coast of Tamandaré, Brazil. His reef surveys support appropriate zoning, utilization, and management of the Costa dos Corais (Coral Coast) marine protected area (MPA), which was designated in 1997, and continue to serve as a model for research and management of reefs throughout the region. Maida’s work has supported new laws passed by the Brazilian government requiring more comprehensive management measures for the Coral Coast MPA. The laws prohibit, within the MPA, capture of all marine ornamental organisms; capture, commercialization, and transport of the goliath grouper and the nurse shark; and capture of marine organisms using underwater breathing equipment. In addition, the laws require registration and licensing of all professional and recreational fishers and traders.

To learn more about Maida, visit his bio online:

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