2015 Winners

Environmental Justice Foundation

Winner, 2015 Seafood Champion Awards Advocacy Category (tied with: Ayumu Katano) – The Environmental Justice Foundation’s Oceans Campaign is committed to eradicating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU), or ‘pirate’ fishing, to encourage full transparency and traceability within seafood supply chains and markets and to advocate for better marine governance. By depleting fish stocks, pirate fishing is a threat to marine ecosystems and environments and severely compromises the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable coastal communities.

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Bill DiMento, High Liner Foods

2015 Seafood Champion Awards Grand Champion – Bill DiMento, High Liner’s Corporate Director of Sustainability, believes that sustainability is not only the right thing to do but makes good business sense. With over 35 years of industry experience, Bill has spent the last five years working to ensure that High Liner Foods leads by example for the benefit of the broader seafood industry and to ensure that High Liners’ sustainability initiatives positively impact communities.

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Andrew Jackson, IFFO

Winner, 2015 Seafood Champion Awards, Leadership Category – Dr. Andrew Jackson, Technical Director of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation, has shown great leadership in working with stakeholders to raise awareness of the need for responsible production of fishmeal and fish oil. The capture of wild fish to manufacture fishmeal and oil for use in aquaculture has been controversial and viewed as potentially wasteful.

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TJ Tate, Gulf Wild

Winner, 2015 Seafood Champion Awards, Vision Category – TJ Tate was the Sustainability Director for Gulf Wild, a brand of genuine, responsibly-caught seafood from the Gulf of Mexico that provides traceability and accountability to each reef fish landed. Gulf Wild was created by forward thinking commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico in immediate response to declining sales of seafood due to seafood fraud and the Deep Horizon Gulf Oil Spill.

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Ayumu Katano, Sustainable Seafood Advocate

Winner, 2015 Seafood Champion Awards, Advocacy Category (tied with: Environmental Justice Foundation) – Ayumu Katano serves as a deputy general manager at a major Japanese fishing company. His advocacy work comes from his personal view and opinion. As part of his work, Ayumu noticed the growth and expansion of Norway’s fisheries, while Japanese fisheries collapsed during the same period. In response, he began writing a series of influential articles about the need for resource management in a widely distributed business magazine.

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Anova Food’s Fishing & Living

Winner, 2015 Seafood Champion Awards, Innovation Category – Anova Food, LLC launched its Fishing & Living (F&L) Initiative in 2010. Its first effort was to implement FIPs and begin the process of working toward MSC certification of Indonesian Handline Yellowfin tuna and improved fishing practices in longline fisheries. However, Anova’s team felt that truly sustainable fisheries address not only the environmental aspects of the fishery, but also the local community development and the wellbeing of the fishers.

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2015 Finalists

UMass Dining

UMass Dining, a campus food service provider, serves 45,000 meals per day and purchases $850,000 of sustainable seafood per year. It is the largest dining-services operation in the country. UMass Dining students consume nearly 21 pounds per year of seafood per person, well over the national average of 14 pounds. This gives UMass Dining a unique responsibility to not only source foods that are socially and ecologically responsible but to educate their industry. All seafood served through their program is certified sustainably sourced using Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines. UMass has gone beyond this by incorporating locally-sourced underutilized seafood, into their programs to reduce their environmental impact, save endangered fish populations, and increase the resiliency of the New England fishing industry.

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Loblaw Companies Ltd.

In 2009, Loblaw became the first major food retailer in Canada to commit to sourcing 100 per cent of the seafood in its stores from sustainable sources by the end of 2013. By 2014, Loblaw had converted nearly 90 percent of sales in key seafood categories to products from sources that fall in one of the following categories: certified sustainable, acceptable with conditions, or making meaningful progress towards sustainability.

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CeDePesca—Centre for Development and Sustainable Fisheries

CeDePesca is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 with the goal of helping Latin American fisheries attain sustainability. Today, CeDePesca has expanded into the Caribbean and is working together with stakeholders in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, implementing Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs) for small and large, artisanal and industrial fisheries.

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International Seafood Sustainability Foundation

ISSF is a global partnership among scientists, tuna processors (representing approximately 75% of the world’s canned and shelf-stable tuna production), and WWF. ISSF works to improve the long-term sustainability of global tuna stocks and their ecosystem by developing and implementing verifiable, science-based practices, commitments and international management measures that result in tuna fisheries meeting the Marine Stewardship Council certification standard.

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The Maldives

The Maldives delegation to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture have been pivotal in the sustainable management of the Indian Ocean tuna fishery, in particular the skipjack fishery. The Maldives joined the IOTC in 2011 and immediately began encouraging other coastal states to form a group of like-minded nations to engage in the IOTC process.

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Project:Inshore

Project:Inshore is a collaboration of the Marine Stewardship Council and Seafish. Small, coastal fishing boats, or the ‘Inshore Fleet’, make up nearly three quarters of England’s fishing fleet. The rich array of seafood they serve up also presents unique scientific challenges for fishery managers. Relatively small landings per vessel, with varying market demand from one day to the next, make it hard to attract investment for scientific research.

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Dave Kellian, Pelagic Fisher

Dave Kellian is one of New Zealand’s most experienced commercial fishers, but it is his innovative ideas to keep seabirds from harm around fishing boats, and his incredible drive to see seabird deaths from fishing become a thing of the past, that are inspiring change worldwide. When scientists first raised concerns about the impact of tuna fishing on seabirds in the early 1990s, Dave began working with a local engineering firm and manufactured a prototype device. Through international collaboration with fishers and engineers, his underwater bait setting device is now close to commercial manufacture. A similar problem with bottom longline fishing used to catch demersal fish inspired Dave to create a prototype that is being sea tested and holds great promise in many fisheries that pose risks for seabirds. Dave has dedicated the last twenty years of his life to developing new fishing techniques that fishers can use to avoid harming seabirds, and spreading the word about ‘seabird smart fishing’ in New Zealand and in the wider Southern Hemisphere.

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Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare, the world’s leading pet care company, is taking a leadership role in sourcing fish in ways that do not threaten stocks. In 2013, Mars Petcare launched Sheba® Brand in the U.S., a cat food made with responsibly sourced fish following the sourcing recommendations set forth by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program. In fact, SHEBA® Brand remains the only mainstream cat food brand in the US to offer responsibly-sourced fish entrees.

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Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia Foundation

MDPI’s vision for a better future includes both the health of the fisheries and the coastal communities that rely on them. In 2013 MDPI evolved from Anova Food LLC Fishing & Living program and is focused on improving fishing practices, fishery management, fisher welfare, community development, value chain, and food safety. MDPI believes successful management of fisheries is only possible if accurate and timely data is available, and has supported data management committees and fisheries data collection programs around Indonesia to gather data on interactions with endangered, protected and threatened species.

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Steve Vilnit, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Steve Vilnit, Director of Fisheries Marketing at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, has been a tenacious advocate for local, sustainable seafood in Maryland. He has implemented several initiatives during his tenure that have expanded the market for various locally caught, responsibly harvested marine species and shifted the focus away from many strained fish stocks and imported products.

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What The Champs Say...

We’re not afraid to tackle the hard stuff

You don't have to convince anybody in our business that this is the right thing to do...everybody gets it. It's just making sure we've got a healthy planet and food security going forward. Let's get the ball running now because the alternative might be doing nothing, and that's not acceptable to anybody. We're not afraid of tackling the hard stuff.

Ally Dingwall, Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager, Sainsbury’s

2016-09-16T14:28:44+00:00

Ally Dingwall, Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager, Sainsbury’s

You don't have to convince anybody in our business that this is the right thing to do...everybody gets it. It's just making sure we've got a healthy planet and food security going forward. Let's get the ball running now because the alternative might be doing nothing, and that's not acceptable to anybody. We're not afraid of tackling the hard stuff.

It is an honor to be in the company of these finalists…

It is an honor to be in the company of the great individuals, companies and organizations who were also nominated this year. It is the outstanding leadership of this year’s winners in promoting environmentally responsible seafood that inspires others to join in the sustainable seafood movement and take responsibility for making positive change.

Maria Damanaki, Seafood Champion Finalist

2016-02-02T12:12:57+00:00

Maria Damanaki, Seafood Champion Finalist

It is an honor to be in the company of the great individuals, companies and organizations who were also nominated this year. It is the outstanding leadership of this year’s winners in promoting environmentally responsible seafood that inspires others to join in the sustainable seafood movement and take responsibility for making positive change.

The work we do we haven’t done for rewards….

It is a good thing that the Seafood Champion Awards are there, so that people can look at what we've done and say "hey, I can do this." And hopefully it will inspire people to make the same choices in different areas and push themselves, take those challenges and improve the fishery.

David Stevens, Crystal Sea Fishing

2016-09-16T14:34:36+00:00

David Stevens, Crystal Sea Fishing

It is a good thing that the Seafood Champion Awards are there, so that people can look at what we've done and say "hey, I can do this." And hopefully it will inspire people to make the same choices in different areas and push themselves, take those challenges and improve the fishery.

We totally believe in the long term sustainability of the oceans…

Maldives has a strong position in the Indian Ocean, so we are using that to advocate and to try and implement sustainability. Ultimately I hope there is more good in the world than bad in the world; we will win through.

Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives

2016-09-16T14:36:50+00:00

Mohamed Shainee, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives

Maldives has a strong position in the Indian Ocean, so we are using that to advocate and to try and implement sustainability. Ultimately I hope there is more good in the world than bad in the world; we will win through.

We are here to ensure our resources are protected for our people…

At the end of the day, we have nowhere else to go—we have to ensure the sustainability of our stocks. Fishing boats can go to other oceans. We can't. We don't have that luxury. So we are here to stay, and therefore we are here to ensure that the resources in our waters are protected for the welfare of our people.

Transform Aqorau, CEO, Parties to the Nauru Agreement

2016-09-16T14:39:55+00:00

Transform Aqorau, CEO, Parties to the Nauru Agreement

At the end of the day, we have nowhere else to go—we have to ensure the sustainability of our stocks. Fishing boats can go to other oceans. We can't. We don't have that luxury. So we are here to stay, and therefore we are here to ensure that the resources in our waters are protected for the welfare of our people.
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