Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day 6 - Artisanal Fishing in San Francisco, Ecuador

On Day 6, we began by deep sea fishing with San Francisco fishermen. We set out a few miles into the Pacific Ocean to catch barracuda that would later be used as bait to catch larger fish which would be sold to market. This was a great opportunity to immerse ourselves into the lives of one of our clients: the fishermen of the Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve.

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^ The team working with San Francisco fishermen to prep the boat for the fishing trip.

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^ Spoils of our successful artisanal fishing day.

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^ Heading back to the coast after a fun and educational morning out at sea.

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^ As we closed out our time on the Ecuadorian coast, we took time to reflect and strategize on the hundreds of man-hours of interviews and primary research to make sure we were still in scope and on schedule. Being typical MBAs, we spent time debriefing our current day and planning for the next. But instead of showing you 10 pictures of us behind laptops, we chose to instead show that it’s not impossible to combine excellent results with a good time.

The UCLA AMR team heads out into the Pacific Ocean to catch some fish in artisanal fashion.

Day 5 - Esmeraldas, Tonchigüe, and Muisne

On our fifth day, our UCLA Anderson AMR team split into two groups to seek out traders to interview in Esmeraldas, Tonchigüe, and Muisne. The goal of the day was to better understand at what prices fish trade in larger cities within an hour of Galera or San Francisco. These figures will help us form assumptions for our model and business plan and better enable us to recommend next steps for the Artelangosta cooperative in San Francisco.

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^ Alex, Paulina, and Tom interviewed local traders in the town of Tonchigüe to gather data on what fish are sold in the area and at what price.

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^ We then had the opportunity to watch fishermen quickly unload their boats to avoid a bird feeding frenzy. While this may be out of scope, the vast amount of bird theft leaves the door open for operational improvements in Tonchigüe. 

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^ Meanwhile, Enrique, Graham, Mike, and Juan Carlos spent their day interviewing four traders in Esmeraldas to gather additional pricing data. They also spent time touring an industrial cleaning site that preps fish for export to Miami.

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^ With well over 100 hours of primary research under our belt, we’re beginning to understand what needs to be done to take Artelangosta’s fishing cooperative (seen in photo above) to the next level. The multi-party cooperation between Artelangosta, NAZCA, Conservational International, UCLA Anderson, and the Belgian NGO, among others, is starting to show great progress.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Day 4 - Galera, Quingue, and Estera de Platano

On day 4, we headed to the fishing villages of Galera, Quingue, and Estrera de Platano to speak with traders, boat owners, fishermen, and women of the community.

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^ To kick things off, Tom (aka Tomas) and Graham (aka Roberto) got to know the Quingue children by teaching them the eight clap and a traditional UCLA Anderson dancing ritual.

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^ Enrique, Juan Carlos, Alex, and Montse speak to the fishermen to better understand their current fishing practices and to discuss potential opportunities for direct trade through Artelangosta and with Ecuadorian restaurants.

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^ The UCLA team with Galera fishermen, boat owners, and NAZCA representatives.

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^ Enrique applying survey methodology with local fishermen in Galera.

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^ Alex going back to her educational roots.

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^ And finally, a few of our favorite pictures from day 4.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 3 - Off to the G-SFMR Marine Reserve

On our third day, we left Quito and headed on a seven hour journey to the Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve to continue our primary research with community leaders, fishermen, and women of the fishing communities.

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^ The UCLA AMR team in Puerto Quito.

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^ Before arriving at Galera, we stopped in Esmeraldas to try some locally caught fish — Filete de Pescado Encocado (fish filet with coconut sauce). Here, we are with our partners from Conservation International and NAZCA. 

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^ The UCLA AMR team with our CI and NAZCA partners meeting with Paty (General Manager of the G-SFMR for the Ecuador Ministry of the Environment) in Galera, Ecuador.

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^ Gaining insights from our conversation with the Ministry of the Environment’s G-SFMR General Manager.

Happy Holidays from the guys of Team 32!

Happy Holidays from the guys of Team 32!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Primary Research in Quito

During our first two days in Quito, we conducted primary research with chefs and seafood buyers at local restaurants. One of our goals for the week is to discover information that will enable us to connect restaurants directly with fishermen in the Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve. This direct partnership would enable restaurants to obtain high quality, fresh, traceable fish from the marine reserve while enabling fishermen to benefit financially.

^ The UCLA team with our NAZCA partners and Quito sommelier at the Zao sushi restaurant in Quito.

^ Enrique, Alex, and Graham speaking with Zao’s chefs and seafood purchasers.

^ The team getting a better understanding of the different methods of delivering fish to Quito-area restaurants.

Friday, December 6, 2013