Following a childhood obsession with the Ocean, Jaco studied Marine Zoology in Port Elizabeth, South Africa – his country of birth. A yearlong stint on sub-Antarctic Marion Island for his M.Sc. was followed by several research trips to remote islands and on commercial fishing vessels. While writing up his PhD on humpback whales at the University of Pretoria, he spent 5 years at WWF South Africa implementing a Sustainable Seafood Initiative.
Discovering the science-policy-practice interface as his true passion, Jaco completed a three-year post-doc in transdisciplinary research in the Garden Route of South Africa, before joining the Marine Stewardship Council in London in 2015. Here, Jaco worked in several roles including supply chain assurance and risk management, capacity building and technical training in the developing world, and piloting a fishery improver program.
Jaco has an insatiable curiosity about developing and implementing practical and innovate solutions that can support sustainable resource management and stewardship. At the ASC he will be responsible for looking at measures that can strengthen supply chain assurance, such as Trace Element Fingerprinting, which can confirm geographical origin of certified products. In his spare time, Jaco likes to remain active in researching, publishing and reviewing scientific papers.