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Carolina Chong Montenegro

of National Geographic Explorers

Carolina Chong Montenegro is a fisheries ecologist focusing on rare and threatened species of groupers. Carolina received her master’s degree at the University of Bremen, Germany, where she studied the biology and fisheries of the fascinating Pacific goliath grouper in Colombia. Carolina plans to continue her work studying small-scale fisheries in the Tropical Eastern Pacific and their impact on ecologically important and commercially exploited fish species. She aims to actively integrate local communities into the research process and apply interdisciplinary approaches for developing sustainable fisheries. Carolina is a 2015 National Geographic Young Explorer grantee and is part of the 2017 Young Explorer Leadership and Development Program.

Goliath Pacific groupers under threat in a biodiversity hotspot

“If you miss the first shot, it might try to eat you,” Apsalon, a local spear fisherman, told me during an interview for my research. He was once half-swallowed by a massive goliath grouper near one of his favorite fishing spots, Playa Blanca in Chocó, Colombia. Although they may sound terrifying, these massive fish are…