- Master of Arts in Marine Conservation and Policy, Stony Brook University
- Bachelor of Music in Music Performance, University of Southern California
Laura Picariello joined Texas Sea Grant as the Marine Fisheries Specialist in June 2018. Her primary focus is on helping commercial and recreational fishing communities understand and utilize the latest in fisheries technology, research and management to develop applicable solutions to problems facing their communities. Picariello currently works with the Texas shrimp industry, helping fishermen with the proper installation, use and maintenance of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) and bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) to minimize impacts on other species.
Before joining Texas Sea Grant, Picariello was a Research Assistant, later Technical Programs Manager, then Director of Audubon Nature Institute’s Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.), a regional sustainable seafood program designed to focus on Gulf of Mexico fisheries. Over the past 5 years, Picariello has focused on sustainable wild-capture fisheries, supply chain traceability and market-based initiatives for promoting sustainability. She expanded G.U.L.F.’s reach from Louisiana into Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, and her work has helped to facilitate market access for Gulf seafood through direct buyer engagement and participation in initiatives that bridge the gap between harvest and consumer. At G.U.L.F., Picariello led the development and operation of the G.U.L.F. Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification program, a voluntary third-party certification for U.S. Gulf fisheries to demonstrate responsible fishing practices. In addition to her role in certification, she collaborated with Gulf fishermen, seafood distributors and fisheries managers to develop several Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) to increase sustainability and promote Gulf seafood. Picariello continues to serve as an advisor on the Audubon G.U.L.F. RFM Fisheries and Chain of Custody Technical Advisory Committees.