[Coral-List] Marine Internship

Casey Wilkinson Casey.Wilkinson at noaa.gov
Fri Feb 13 14:23:48 EST 2004

Organization: marine aquarium council
Location: Honolulu, HI (mailing address: c/o MNC, P.O. Box 640, Palo 
Alto, CA 94302)

Job location: Manila, Philippines, with significant periods in coastal 

Brief Description of Organization
The mission of Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) is to conserve coral reefs 
and other marine ecosystems by creating standards and educating and 
certifying those engaged in the collection and care of marine 
ornamentals from reef to retail. MAC was established in 1998, with its 
main office in Honolulu and regional offices in Southeast Asia, the 
South Pacific, Europe and the continental U.S. The international MAC 
Certification system was launched in late 2001.

Most collectors of marine aquarium organisms care about the animals they 
harvest. They strive to employ quality practices for maintaining healthy 
animals that garner a good price and relationship with the exporters 
that purchase their fish. Many of these collectors are interested in 
becoming MAC Certified. However, they are rural fishermen with limited 
business and financial management skills and are thus very concerned 
about the costs of certification. Certification has direct financial 
benefits for collectors, primarily through the reduced mortality and 
improved quality control of the certified organisms and the improved 
relationship with buyers; the costs of becoming certified will likely be 
offset by the savings and business efficiencies collectors realize. The 
challenge is that there is little detailed information on the financial 
situation of collector operations that would form a baseline to measure 
improvements in livelihoods and reduction of poverty.

Paul Holthus, Executive Director (overall project direction)
Lino Alvarez, Philippines Director (direct supervision)

Supervisors’ Backgrounds
Paul Holthus: Paul has wide-ranging experience in developing

international programs, from global ocean policy work with UN agency 
directors to site-level work with villagers on small islands. This 
includes developing and raising funds for international, 
multi-stakeholder networks and projects; initiating private-sector 
partnerships for sustainable marine resource use; undertaking 
international marine policy work; and playing a major role in 
establishing the UNEP Regional Seas program for the South Pacific and 
international programs for major organizations (e.g., The Nature 

Lino Alvarez: Lino is responsible for developing and managing MAC 
programs in the Philippines. He has 25 years of experience in 
communications, management and policy work for government fisheries 
institutions, marine conservation NGOs and communications organizations 
in the Philippines.
Prior jobs include Director of Information, Education and 
Communications; International Marinelife Alliance/Philippines; Executive 
Director, Philippine Agricultural Journalists; and Chief of Public 
Information Staff, Philippine Fisheries Development Authority.

Job Title Packard Environment Fellow

Job Description: The Fellow will research and analyze the collectors’ 
component of the marine ornamentals industry in several villages in the 
Philippines. The analysis will detail the economic conditions for 
non-certified collectors and those that become certified under the MAC 
protocol, with particular attention to: documenting the full range of 
expenses associated with marine ornamentals collection (e.g., equipment, 
fuel, storage, etc.); understanding the pricing market for marine 
ornamentals, as well as what mechanisms exist for their sale; 
documenting the range of buyers that deal directly with collectors; 
understanding the timing of payments made to collectors; and describing 
the portion of value of each fish caught attributed to collectors. The 
goals of the Fellow’s work will be to:

· Provide a quantitative tool to assist MAC in the process of helping 
collectors to understand the benefits of MAC Certification and thereby 
reduce their reluctance to seek certification.
· Provide a quantitative baseline and ongoing tool to track MAC 
certification progress in light of collector-level economics; the data 
provided will inform the focus of MAC certification efforts.
· Provide MAC, the collectors and other stakeholders with a baseline, 
goals and measurable results relative to the improvement of collectors 
livelihoods and economic conditions derived from MAC Certification.
· Provide MAC with an analysis of micro-finance investments needs and 
delivery mechanisms at the collector’s level to support certification.

· Provide MAC with an analysis of the multiplier effect of MAC 
Certification in collectors’ communities (i.e. how MAC Certification 
benefits extend to other related economic activities in the communities)

Job Significance: The bulk of MAC’s efforts to mainstream certification 
are focused on the collectors and their communities. Significant 
resources are needed for the training of collectors in sustainable 
fishing practices, assisting them to develop co-ops, facilitating their 
involvement in developing reef management plans with other stakeholders, 
etc. Credible methods and a model to document changes over time will 
enable us to demonstrate the livelihood benefits of MAC Certification. 
In the short term, this will enable us to attract donor assistance to 
work with the collectors and their communities. More importantly, in the 
long term, this will allow us to demonstrate to the collectors 
themselves the value of participating in certification. This will ensure 
that they are aware of the very real incentives for becoming part of a 
sustainable fishery and maintaining their participation in the certified 

Desired Qualifications and Experience
· MBA candidate (required)
· Experience working in developing countries, outside urban areas, is 
· Strong project management skills, preferably in relation to small and 
medium enterprise development
· Strong analytical skills, including financial analysis, synthesis of 
ambiguous data and ability to identify key issues and risks
· Ability to work both as part of a team and independently
· Effective written and oral communication, organizational, and 
interpersonal skills in a cross-cultural setting
· Ability to work in a rural village environment
· Command of Tagalog or other dialects in the Philippines is desirable

$650/wk. [Students: Find out if you are eligible for a supplemental 
grant from your school’s internship fund.]

Application Deadline
February 25, 2004

Background Information
www.aquariumcouncil.org <http://www.aquariumcouncil.org>

Packard Environment Fellows are supported by a grant from the David and

Lucile Packard Foundation.

To Apply
E-mail a cover letter and resume to the supervisors named above c/o The

MBA-Nonprofit Connection at summerjobs at mnconnection.org 
<mailto:summerjobs at mnconnection.org>. Please send the cover letter and 
resume as separate attachments, named as follows:
MAC-[your last name]-Cover.doc and MAC-[your last name]-Resume.doc. In
your cover letter, highlight aspects of your experience that are 
relevant for this job, including volunteer service, and explain why you 
are interested in working with this organization. (For advice on 
preparing nonprofit job applications, see “Advice for Job Seekers” at 
www.mnconnection.org <http://www.mnconnection.org>.) The MNC will 
forward your application to the
employer as soon as it is received.

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