MCAF Fellow Daniel Fernando

Daniel Fernando

2017 MCAF Fellow

Co-Founder, Blue Resources Trust
Sri Lanka


Daniel Fernando is currently working toward a Ph.D. at Linnaeus University studying the biology and ecology of manta and mobula rays in the Indian Ocean. He is also the Co-Founder of Blue Resources Trust in Sri Lanka, where he oversees general operations in addition to running the elasmobranch projects. Apart from field research, he focuses on the development and implementation of policy to encourage a shift toward sustainable fisheries.

He was an adviser to the Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife of Sri Lanka from 2015 until 2018, and is currently an appointed advisor to the marine unit of the Department of Wildlife Conservation. At times he represents the Government of Sri Lanka at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).

His work has been highlighted in documentaries broadcast on ITV (UK) and Al Jazeera International, and he is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s (SSC) Shark Specialist Group.


Elasmobranchs, Fisheries Policy, Conservation Leadership, Social Media, Public Speaking, Conservation in Developing Countries, Advocacy, and Education

  1. Select Publications

    Fernando, Daniel, et al. “New insights into the identities of the elasmobranch fauna of Sri Lanka.” Zootaxa 4585.2 (2019): 201-238.

    Hosegood, Jane, et al. “Genome-wide data for effective conservation of manta and devil ray species.” bioRxiv (2019): 458141.

    Notarbartolo di Sciara, Giuseppe, et al. “Taxonomic status, biological notes, and conservation of the longhorned pygmy devil ray Mobula eregoodoo (Cantor, 1849).” Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems (2019).

    Stewart, D., J., Jaine, A., F. R., Bennett, B., M., . . . Rubin. (2018, August 15). Research Priorities to Support Effective Manta and Devil Ray Conservation.

    More publications available:

  2. News

  3. Affiliations

  4. New England Aquarium News and Blogs