29 May 2019

Obituary: Celso Rocha de Oliveira 1958-2019

A strong promoter of Hookpod trials and member of the Albatross Task Force in Brazil has passed away.

By Nina DaRocha

A champion of Hookpod trials, respected fishing captain and collaborator with the Albatross Task Force in Brazil since 2008, Celso de Oliveira passed away at-sea on 14th of May at the age of 60. Progress towards protecting albatrosses in Brazil would not have been possible without his support and dedication to protect the marine environment over the past 30 years.

Celso always welcomed our Albatross Task Force instructors onto his boat to monitor seabird bycatch and played a key role in the development of mitigation measures suitable for small pelagic vessels in south-eastern Brazil, such as bird-scaring lines and Hookpods.

As the great leader and communicator he was, he had a unique way of showing how the struggles of fishermen and marine life are intertwined. He was an experienced and passionate skipper, with an extraordinarily innovative vision, who undoubtedly played a pivotal role in spreading the word of marine conservation and promoting the uptake of mitigation measures among the fishing community in and around Itajaí, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

“He was always curious about our experimental trials and very knowledgeable, often pointing out and naming rare albatross species while we were out at sea together” said Gabriel Sampaio Canani, an ATF Instructor.

Celso was extremely dedicated to his work and will be greatly missed by his co-workers, friends and family. His passing is a great loss to the fishing community in Brazil and to marine conservation globally, but we are sure that his teachings continue to sail with us through the seas.