The Fisheries Opportunity Fund

Support the future leaders in fisheries science and conservation through the Fisheries Opportunity Fund! 

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The Fisheries Opportunity Fund provides financial support to students conducting research and/or who are taking professional development opportunities with the Fisheries Collaborative Program (FCP). Your gifts will remove financial barriers to student success by supporting:

  • Paid FCP internships for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Research supplies for fieldwork and lab work
  • Professional development opportunities (e.g. technical training courses)
  • Travel costs (e.g. travel to field sites and scientific conferences)

Part of the Institute of Marine Sciences, FCP fosters collaborations between faculty, researchers, and students at UC Santa Cruz and scientists at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Together, FCP scientists are making a global impact on the conservation of threatened and endangered species, domestic and international fisheries management, and understanding the effects of climate change on marine and freshwater ecosystems.

FCP is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the training of the next generation of leaders in fisheries science. By supporting the Fisheries Opportunity Fund, you give all students the opportunity to:

  • Access and contribute to cutting edge research
  • Work alongside UCSC and NOAA scientists in the field and lab
  • Make a global impact on the conservation of fisheries resources and ecosystems
  • Become the future leaders in fisheries science and sustainability

Thank you, sincerely, for your donation to the Fisheries Opportunity Fund!


The Fisheries Opportunity Fund is made possible by Giving Day donors and year-round donations.

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FCP’s First Ever Fisheries Opportunity Fund Fellow is Niza Contreras!

We are delighted to announce the first ever recipient of the Fisheries Opportunity Fund Award, Niza Contreras (UCSC Masters Student, Coastal Science and Policy, ‘23). Niza will use the award funds to strengthen climate adaptation strategy implementation in fisheries in Baja California Sur. She will partner with Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI), ten FEDECOOP cooperatives, and local fishers and decision makers to develop a new climate adaptation knowledge-sharing platform. Her goal is to help communities understand and implement the best adaptation strategies for their environment. We will recognize Niza for receiving this award at the SouthWest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) 2021 Awards Ceremony (tentatively scheduled for 8/26/2022 @ 1pm). 

More info on Niza below.

Niza is passionate about studying community-based fisheries management, particularly in Latin America, with a focus on using traditional conservation practices to develop adaptive solutions to the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. She is bilingual in Spanish and English with dual US-Mexican citizenship. Niza hopes to bring both a transdisciplinary and a transnational perspective to these complex socio-ecological systems, with the recognition that climate change is breaking barriers and forcing us to reimagine our conventional divisions and definitions. Niza graduated from Stanford University as an Earth Systems major in 2020 with a focus on Oceans, Climate, and Atmosphere.

Read about Niza’s Summer Placement and Year 2 Capstone:
For my capstone project for the Coastal Science and Policy M.S. program, I plan to strengthen knowledge around climate adaptation strategy implementation in artisanal fisheries in México by documenting and sharing current strategies used by fishing cooperatives in Baja California Sur. Additionally, I aim to understand what social and ecological characteristics of the fishing cooperatives enable or constrain them from successfully implementing adaptation strategies. I plan to develop a knowledge-sharing platform that can be used by fisheries managers and decision-makers to see what strategies for climate problems have worked for other communities, why these strategies were successful in this community, and how they might be able to improve the adaptive capacity of their own community to successfully implement the same strategies.

I will work with the Mexican organization Comunidad y Biodiversidad COBI and ten cooperatives that are part of the federation FEDECOOP to conduct focus groups with fisheries managers, fishers, and community members. These focus groups will investigate the past, present, and future adaptation strategies that the cooperatives have developed in response to the different impacts of climate change they experience within their fisheries. I will work with COBI to share information on the strategies that I collect in a way that it can be easily accessed and understood by members of fishing cooperatives. The first step will be to include the data on COBI’s PescaData app, which serves as an information-sharing and social media platform for fishers and the fishing community in México. The second step will be to identify (or create) another platform where I can share more detailed information about different adaptation strategies in an informative and usable way.

This award was made possible by Giving Day 2021 donations. Please consider donating or sharing our call to donate so we may continue to support innovative research and diverse perspectives in fisheries science. 

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