Vishwanie Maharaj

Lead, Tuna and Multilateral Fisheries

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Dr. Vishwanie Maharaj is an economist with over 20 years of experience working on fisheries and other marine policy issues through research and engagement of industry, governance institutions and non-governmental organizations. One early lesson in her career is the recognition that asking someone to limit the use of a resource or change other behavior, even for a short period of time, requires sacrifice that will likely face resistance to change. Hence her focus on incentive-based tools to improve the ecological and socioeconomic performance of marine resources. Another critical lesson learned is that engaging affected stakeholders (industry, communities, government) in crafting solutions is key to lasting positive change.

Dr. Maharaj is currently the lead for tunas and other multilateral fisheries at WWF-US. In that capacity, she works in close coordination with our global and regional leads on overall tuna policy and our markets teams on engaging major retailers to drive sustainable sourcing of tuna products. Her more recent work focused on engagement in the UN Food and Agricultural Organization and World Bank Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction projects, using market incentives to reform global tuna fisheries and work to address overcapacity and improve business performance in the Eastern Pacific tropical tuna fisheries. Prior to WWF, Dr. Maharaj held senior positions at Environmental Defense Fund, South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, and a trade association. She holds a doctoral degree in marine resource economics from the University of Rhode Island and an undergraduate degree in oceanography from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

More on Vishwanie




  • Doctoral Degree, Marine Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island
  • Master of Science, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Pathology, University of Rhode Island
  • Bachelor of Science, Oceanography, University of Southampton, UK

Areas of Expertise

  • Marine policy
  • Socioeconomics of marine resources
  • Tuna policy and markets