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Gerardo is the owner and manager of Akumal Dive Center, the oldest dive shop in Akumal Bay, and Opwall’s partner for marine research in Mexico. Gerardo ended up in the field of conservation somewhat by accident. He studied business and after graduating he began to work in the dive shop, which has been in his family since 1975. Gerardo quickly realized that the health of the bay would be essential for the long-term health of his business. Since then, he has worked with many scientists and conservationists, and become a strong voice for conservation through sustainable business. In this episode, we discuss how Gerardo sees the role of business investing in conservation, his team’s restoration of Akumal Bay, and how to bridge the gap between science and business to build successful conservation projects.

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Episode Outline: 

  • [0.43] Gerardo’s background
  • [2.06] Influence of Covid-19 on tourism in Akumal Bay
  • [3.22] Why Gerardo works in Akumal Bay and his influence on the family business
  • [9.23] What draws tourists to Akumal and why Gerardo started supporting ecological research
  • [11.35] Gerardo’s involvement in coral restoration projects
  • [14.21] Why Gerardo decided to train all of his staff on coral restoration techniques
  • [16.55] The influence of Operation Wallacea in Akumal Bay
  • [21.04] The contrasting impacts of Covid-19 on business and the environment
  • [25.39] What Gerardo has learned working on conservation with different groups
  • [29.31] Conservation engagement with local communities
  • [32.50] Fishing rules in Akumal Bay
  • [35.27] Gerardo’s advice on blending business and conservation
  • [38.22] Gerardo’s favourite part of his work
  • [43.32] Why Gerardo keeps fighting to protect biodiversity
  • [44.29] What Gerardo is looking forward to for the next field season


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