SeaWeb’s Seafood Champions for 2016 include a retail executive who set the bar for sustainable seafood in the United Kingdom, a Cornwall fisherman who influenced EU policy and technology innovation, a coalition of Pacific Islands nations that acted aggressively to ensure the health of their tuna fishery, and a Maldives ministry that pushed sustainability for Indian Ocean fisheries.
The annual Seafood Champion Awards recognize individuals and organizations for excellence in promoting ocean health and environmentally responsible seafood with honors in four categories: leadership, innovation, vision, and advocacy. The top honors were revealed at the opening reception of the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Malta.
The Seafood Champion Award for Leadership went to Ally Dingwall, Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager at Sainsbury’s in the U.K. Dingwall’s leadership led to Sainsbury’s earning recognition as MSC Fish Retailer of the Year in 2014, serving as an integral member of many sustainable seafood organizations, and advancing its commitments to sustainable sourcing of wild and farmed seafood.
David Stevens and his company, Crystal Sea Fishing in Cornwall, U.K., received the Seafood Champion Award for Innovation for initiative and leadership as well as technical innovation in meeting the EU’s mandate to eliminate fish discards at sea. Stevens’ work led to changes in EU rules to allow the new gear and inspired other fishers to follow his lead.
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement Organisation, based in the Marshall Islands, earned the Seafood Champion Award for Vision for seeing the need to manage the Western and Central Pacific tuna fishery for the long term and quickly taking effective action.
The Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy went to the Maldives Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture for its efforts to promote sustainable fishery practices and policies in the Indian Ocean.
The judges chose winners from a group of 16 finalists from around the world: Australia, Canada, the U.K., Indonesia, Japan, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, New Zealand and the U.S.
For more information on the awards, go to www.seafoodchampions.org.