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Remember the Fallen

Ethiopian Airlines Crash, 10 March 2019

Joanna Toole, FAO fisheries officer

Joanna Toole

Joanna Toole, a passionately committed young FAO fisheries officer, who worked for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, was a leading voice in the fight to better protect marine life.

She successfully campaigned for fishing nets and cages to be marked, so that owners could be traced if equipment was found to have been discarded. She played a leading role in the development of FAO's Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear and she was currently working on the development of a global capacity development programme to support implementation of the same as well as to assist developing countries to address other environmental and biodiversity fisheries related issues. Her initiative has received global recognition and support, and was set to be announced just before she died. The guidelines, now agreed upon by member states, are dedicated to her memory.

Joanna was passionate about animals and creating sustainable change from a very young age. She spent the last two years within FAO's fishing operations and technology branch dealing with matters related to the environmental impacts of fishing operations, including the accidental catch of marine mammals in fishing nets, marine debris and  their contribution to plastic pollution, and in particular abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG).

An invaluable member of the FAO team, fully immersed, competent and passionate about everything she worked on, Joanna was a lovely person and is greatly missed by all her colleagues.

Biographical information and photo provided by FAO. Photo credit: Giulio Napolitano