Meet the team: Q&A with Rocio Maldonado Alarcón

Rocio was born in the Port of Callao in Lima, Peru. A professor, researcher, and expert in gender and women’s studies, Rocio has over ten years of experience in quantitative and qualitative research with a focus on the management and analysis of data and social indicators. 

As a researcher and editorial director, Rocio has provided recommendations for public policy that work has received national and international attention through events and publications. She holds a degree in Social work, from Major National San Marcos University in Peru, a Master’s degree in Population and Development, from the Faculty of Social Sciences FLACSO Mexico, and a Ph.D. in Social Sciences with a specialty in women and gender relations from the Autonomous Metropolitan University UAM – Xochimilco, Mexico. She is excited to be joining the Future of Fish Peru team as a Gender & Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. 

How did you find your way into marine issues?

I am an ecologist. I believe that climate change and global warming are priority issues today. I was born in the Port of Callao, so the sea is part of my personal and community identity. The sea is a source of life and food and preserving it is essential to have a good quality of life and to be able to dream of a sustainable future. When I moved to Mexico City, I struggled to be able to eat fish as often as I was used to growing up. It reminded me of how privileged I was living in a port city. Since returning to Peru, after being an emigrant for 10 years in Mexico, I feel at home coming back to the sea. The sea has always called, it has healed me, and now it has given me a job opportunity.

Interest in seafood sustainability and traceability has grown in recent years. Why do you think that is?

I believe that the current interest in the traceability of marine products responds to the need to guarantee food for the entire population. Food security and the fight against hunger are challenges for everyone because the food of the sea and the land are being devastated by human predation and pollution. Environmental degradation is an undeniable fact, despite skeptical voices who believed that global warming was a myth; today it is vital to recognize that environmental sustainability is everyone’s job. So taking care of the environment calls us to become aware of the value of the sea as a creator of life. In Peru, the respect and adoration of the Pachamama as a giver of food and mother is a teaching that my parents passed down to me. They urged me to stimulate love and care for the earth.

Where do you hope global fish production will be in 5 years? 10 years?

I hope that artisanal and industrial fishing can work together, producing food with care and respect for the natural dynamics of the oceans. So, I hope that world fish production will be in the top five products produced and exported from Peru.

What were you doing before you joined Future of Fish?

I was an independent consultant. My last work experiences were as leader of the research team that carried out the Socio-economic Study of the Talara Refinery Modernization Project (PMRT) with the INERCO company at the request of Petroperú. I was also coordinator of the business certification “Safe Company, Free of Violence and Discrimination Against Women” in the MMP (Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations), which is a program that promotes gender equality as fundamental to responsible business management practices. Also, I am presently a professor at a university in Lima.

How do you see your previous experience coming into play at Future of Fish?

I have participated in various non-governmental organizations and companies, gaining an interesting and significant professional experience that has allowed me to train as a person with a broad vision. I am a person open to learning and always being better. My work experience has allowed me to participate in several projects in different sectors (public and private), which has nourished me from a heterogeneous practice and to function in different contexts. I am interested in contributing through my work to advancing development processes with vulnerable populations; especially women, girls, and boys.

What most attracted you to working with Future of Fish?

Innovation and global work. Today’s world requires us to be connected beyond territories and different contexts and times.

Future Of Fish is an organization that has a comprehensive work proposal, which understands social subjects from their complexity and their work proposals seek to address more structural problems, such as gender inequality, in a transversal way. This is essential for social intervention and economic support to be sustainable, and truly allow a change for the well-being of the population.

What are you most looking forward to doing in the next year?

Undertaking this new role and the challenges it will present alongside the Future of Fish team. I also love traveling with my family. I hope to travel after overcoming the Covid-19 Pandemic situation. Also, to get to know new realities and new people; and continue rowing in this ocean of struggles, challenges, and opportunities that is life.


Published Jan 03, 2022