Fish Welfare Initiative is an organization of people who believe that fish welfare is critical for environmental sustainability, business resiliency, and global health. It's also the right thing for fish.
In 2019, FWI was launched by Charity Entrepreneurship, a charity incubator that provided our first $50,000 in seed funding. Over the next few years, we are building a small and dedicated team that can work with industry and NGO partners to implement higher fish welfare standards and practices.
We aim to improve the lives of billions of fish. Meet our team below.
Director of International Programs
Jennifer studied environmental sciences and marine conservation at the University College Freiburg, Germany and the California State University, Monterey Bay. Before joining FWI, Jennifer conducted fieldwork to conserve cetaceans and seals in the US, and small mammals in the German Black Forest. Her passion for conservation ultimately turned into exploring the intersection between animal advocacy and environmental protection. Within the Effective Altruism community, Jennifer also engages in Effective Environmentalism, a group for climate action. In her free time, Jennifer loves to surf and swim.
Cofounder, Director of Impact and Evaluation, FWI US Board Member
Tom has been part of the effective animal advocacy community for four years. While studying Philosophy at Southampton University, he established the Southampton Effective Altruism Society and interned for Charity Entrepreneurship. This led to Tom applying to the Charity Entrepreneurship incubation program, where he met Haven. Tom enjoys playing guitar and hanging out with his dog, Solo.
Fish Welfare Specialist Consultant
Marco Cerqueira is a fish welfare enthusiast PhD researcher with a broad portfolio and over a decade of experience in the Fisheries and Aquaculture sphere. He’s built his career on the development of strategies to reduce bycatch, as well as the development of nutritional, physiological, and psychological tools to improve the welfare of fish in captivity. Marco is passionate about transforming both consumers and producers into advocates of fish welfare by reframing fish as sentient beings. When not thinking about popularizing fish welfare, Marco loves to scuba dive and meet new people and cultures.
Siddharth studied psychology at the University of Sheffield before spending a few years working in sports analytics. His passion for animal rights and environmental protection led him to FWI after attending an Effective Altruism event in India. In his free time, he enjoys reading, travelling, and poorly performing pop hits on karaoke nights.
Lu seeks to identify the most effective ways to improve the welfare of farmed fish in China. She holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Her prior research focused on the religious traditions and communities of Chinese fishermen. As a cultural anthropologist, she is keen to understand what kind of changes in beliefs and practices could lead to large-scale welfare improvements. In her free time, she enjoys forest hiking, swimming, and documentaries.
Welfare Standard Lead
Paul is originally an infectious disease scientist whose research focused primarily on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Driven by a desire to have a more direct impact on the lives of people impacted by these diseases, he moved away from a laboratory setting to manage large-scale public health programs. Paul’s roles in public health programs combined program management with the provision of comprehensive technical assistance to national and regional governments to establish/improve NTD-control programs and strengthen government capacity to scale evidence-based interventions in a cost-effective and sustainable way. Originally from Ireland, Paul is based in Singapore.
Alethea has been involved in effective altruism since 2021 and is most passionate about improving the lives of farmed animals. At the University of the Philippines, she studied chemical engineering and co-founded and presided over the Effective Altruism UP Diliman group. She has also served as Associate Director for EA Philippines and volunteered at Shrimp Welfare Project. Outside work, Alethea enjoys working out and crochet.
Prior to joining FWI, Chiaw was a marine biologist and conservationist. After volunteering and interning at FWI International, she decided to switch from a career in the hard sciences to a more interdisciplinary approach to animal protection. She led our Philippines team to research, test, and scale interventions that raise aquaculture standards for farmed fish welfare in-country. She spends her free time on the beach, freediving and watching fish in the wild.
Cofounder, Executive Director, FWI US Board Member
Haven has been involved in animal advocacy and effective altruism for several years, during which time he founded Effective Altruism Oberlin, was president of Oberlin Animal Rights, and was a Research Intern at Mercy For Animals. He graduated from Oberlin College with degrees in computer science and philosophy. Outside of working for better fish welfare, Haven enjoys getting cheap drinks with great people.
FWI US Board Member
Nick holds a bachelor's degree in cognitive science from the University of Michigan, where he co-ran the Effective Altruism student org. In recent years, Nick has worked for various non-profits and political campaigns.
Jayasimha is a former fellow at Harvard Law School, Founding Director of the Animal Law Centre at NALSAR School University of Law, Hyderabad, and Member of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). He co-founded Global Food Partners where he conceptualises, plans, and implements key initiatives to promote higher welfare production systems in the food sector. He also spearheads the development of innovative traceability and supply chain solutions for animal-sourced protein. Jayasimha has worked closely with industry, farmers, ministries, and governments throughout Asia.
Gauri Maulekhi is a leading animal welfare advocate in India with over two decades of experience working with government agencies. She serves as a resource person and trainer, sensitizing law enforcement agencies to animal protection. Through her work, Gauri has catalyzed systemic change via judicial intervention and public policy led-advocacy with central & state governments. She serves as the Trustee of India’s largest animal welfare organization, People For Animals, and is the recipient of India’s highest civilian award for women: the prestigious Nari Shakti Puraskar, bestowed by the President of India in 2018. Ms. Maulekhi anchors the Ahimsa Fellowship, the only animal welfare advocacy fellowship in India focused on farm animal welfare.
Lynne is a PhD researcher who has studied aquatic animal welfare since 1999. Lynne published the first identification of nociceptors in rainbow trout in 2002, proving that fish experience pain. Since then Lynne's group has addressed questions in fish welfare by using an integrative approach. She uses the findings of her research to drive the agenda for improvements in the use of fishes across a range of contexts. Lynne has co-authored several reports for scientific, governmental, and welfare organizations as well as having regularly engaged with the public. She has been a member and chair of learned society's councils, ethics committees, and grant panels and held editorial roles for a number of journals. Lynne has recently moved to the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Tse Yip Fai
Tse Yip Fai holds a degree in Chemistry from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and one in Banking and Finance from the University of London. He is a 2021 Foresight Fellow in Animal Ethics For Artificial Intelligence. He was previously the China Strategy Consultant for Mercy For Animals, responsible for research and strategy for their expansion plans in China and Asia. Currently the Research Assistant for Prof. Peter Singer at Princeton University, Fai is researching the impact and ethics of artificial intelligence on nonhuman animals. He has advised the Open Philanthropy Project and international and Chinese organizations on farmed fish welfare.
Susanna is a zoologist (MSc) with a passion for fish welfare, who has worked as scientific adviser at the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance (Dyrevernalliansen) since 2012. Through research and corporate advocacy, she helps the Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry move towards better fish welfare. Her main focus is on one of the most numerous and overlooked groups of animals: juvenile salmon in intensive production.
Chris Holbein is the Public Policy Director for Farm Animal Protection at the Humane Society of the United States, helping spearhead legislative campaigns across the country. Chris and his teammates work with family farmers, food companies, and other stakeholders to promote animal welfare and food safety. He’s been on the front lines of winning legislative campaigns in Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, California, West Virginia, and numerous other states. In addition, Chris has been a lead organizer on two successful ballot measures requiring cage-free housing systems for farm animals.
João L. Saraiva is a fish ethologist with a special interest in welfare. He teaches Ethology at the University of Algarve in Portugal, leads the Fish Ethology and Welfare Group at CCMAR, and is the president of the FishEthoGroup Association. With a research career studying behavior and physiology in teleosts, João now focuses on applying science to improve the welfare of farmed fish. He is the author of nearly 30 scientific papers and editor of the book Welfare of Cultured and Experimental Fishes. The FishEthoGroup is responsible for the FishEthoBase as well as the CAREFISH project, which works on creating welfare standards for an international fish farming certification label. João is also an avid surfer and mountain enthusiast and for many years had a career in music and radio.
Karolina Sarek (also FWI US Board Member)
Karolina is co-founder and Director of Research at Charity Entrepreneurship. She also serves as a Fund Manager at the EA Animal Welfare Fund, a mentor at WANBAM, and a consultant for various EA non-profits. Before Charity Entrepreneurship, she co-founded an organization to improve the impact of non-profits and social enterprises; worked on measurement and evaluation for Charity Science Health and Open Cages; and was a researcher for IBM and the Jagiellonian University (JU). At the age of 22, she became a university teaching fellow, lecturing at JU’s Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. She has been volunteering for farm animals since she was 18.
Patrick contributes to curriculum and communications at Charity Entrepreneurship and mentors its incubatees. He also leads projects towards a more user-centered and innovative public service in Switzerland, including on public health and migration. Patrick is a co-founder and chair of the board of GiveWell-incubated charity, New Incentives. Previously, he was a political advisor for Switzerland’s economic development agency where he participated in the negotiations on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He also worked on strategic communications in the context of peacebuilding and mediation at the United Nations Department of Political Affairs in New York.
Jonathan Balcombe is a biologist with a PhD in ethology, the study of animal behavior. His books include Pleasurable Kingdom, Second Nature, and The Exultant Ark. His book What a Fish Knows became a New York Times best-seller and has been translated into fifteen languages. In addition to writing books, Jonathan gives public lectures, and does professional editing for aspiring and established authors.