I am Maria, and I was born and raised in Portugal.

Earlier I knew I would like to somehow work with marine life!

To follow my dream, I started studying Marine Biology and Biotechnology, and during the Bsc course, I realised my interest in aquaculture. After my course, I began my professional career working for one of the major Gilthead Seabream and Seabass hatcheries in Europe, where I learned so much about this fantastic sector.

My trust for knowledge took me to enrol on a Master’s degree in Aquaculture and Fisheries, specialising in Aquaculture. Here, during my master thesis, I started to be more aware of fish welfare. After that, I decided to stay some years in academia, where I worked on several research projects at the University of Algarve and end up taking my PhD in Biological Sciences, specialised in Marine Biology.

After my PhD, I moved to Vienna and enrolled in other challenges, having worked for different NGOs and provided consultancy for various organisations on the topics of good welfare practices in the aquaculture industry. Last years I also specialised myself as an external auditor and have been working as an auditor for well know groups such as Integra, NSF International and Lloyd’s Register. This has allowed me to know deeply about the aquaculture sector in different regions, from LATAM to ASIA.

Currently, I live in Spain with my husband and 7 years old daughter, and I am delighted to join the ASC team as a Fish Welfare Coordinator. I will be focusing on developing fish welfare-related topics within the new ASC Farm Standard and am integrating the ASC’s Standards Team. My daily work includes participating in the actual development of the standard requirements text, interacting with relevant stakeholders and organisations, coordinating the external technical working group formed during various consultation processes, and participating in various relevant research projects.

In my free time, I like to do sports, cook and enjoy time with family.

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