2016 Winners

Parties to the Nauru Agreement Organisation

Winner, 2016 Seafood Champion Awards Vision Category – A coalition of eight Pacific island nations nominated for successfully putting into place and enforcing effective fisheries management strategies and state-of-the-art technologies to protect their globally important tuna resource. Through unprecedented collaboration, cooperation, and a collective vision, the eight Parties to the Nauru Agreement nations are securing and strengthening fisheries rights for more sustainably harvested and managed tuna resources from the Pacific Island nations.

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Ally Dingwall

Winner, 2016 Seafood Champion Awards, Leadership Category – With Ally Dingwall’s as its Aquaculture and Fisheries Manager, Sainsbury’s now leads the U.K. retail market in the number of MSC products on their shelves, all of which carry chain of custody traceability and carry the logo on its packaging. As a result of Ally’s leadership, Sainsbury’s was awarded the MSC Fish Retailer of the year in 2014 and is still leading the market for 2015.

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Crystal Sea Fishing

Winner, 2016 Seafood Champion Awards, Innovation Category – While many fishers consider the E.U. Common Fisheries Policy discard ban to be challenging, the family-owned Crystal Sea Fishing’s philosophy is simple: embrace change, work in partnership, and pave the way for others to follow. Crystal Sea Fishing proactively entered into partnership with the UK fisheries agency to take part in discard reduction trials where they documented their fishing, allowed cameras on board, and tested different gear. When that gear did not meet standards, they worked to change the regulations.

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Ministry of Fisheries & Agriculture, Maldives

Winner, 2016 Seafood Champion Awards, Advocacy Category – Fishing is engrained in the national culture of the Maldives; an island nation, they recognize the importance of sustainable fisheries, which ensure livelihoods are guaranteed and the environment left unharmed. With responsible pole-and-line tuna fisheries representing one of the country’s greatest assets and employers, the Maldives has consistently presented themselves as an advocate for effective transboundary management.

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2016 Finalists

Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)

While COARE is versed in many areas of ocean public policy, it excels in shark conservation policy, and has been involved in nearly every successful effort to regulate the sale of detached shark fins in the continental United States.
Borne of these efforts and the realization that effective shark conservation inherently inspires ecosystem-based support, COARE developed the Shark Safe® certification for businesses that distinguish themselves through their dedication to shark conservation. Qualifying businesses may not offer shark or shark products, or seafood that is harvested in ways associated with shark bycatch, for sale.

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Sustainable Seafood Coalition

In an example of successful collaboration, the Sustainable Seafood Coalition’s 23 members worked together for three years to find a common solution for a more responsible and sustainable seafood supply chain. This culminated in a voluntary code of conduct on sourcing and on using labels that are clear, consistent and meaningful to consumers. As most SSC members are direct competitors, the very process of negotiating these codes is remarkable – a “miracle”, in the words of one stakeholder.

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Ikishi Maguro Shigen wo Kangaeru Kai

While the Japanese government and large-scale industrial fleets refuse to abandon the unsustainable practice of targeting breeding tuna during spawning season, the Iki Tuna Network, a small group of fishers on Iki Island, have recognized the importance of making a sacrifice today to protect the resource that their futures depend on. Their unprecedented voluntary suspension of catching spawning Bluefin for three years during the spawning season is being publicized in Japanese major media and is serving to encourage and energize other regional fisheries to take their own voluntary actions to protect ocean resources.

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Tri Marine

As one of the world’s largest tuna suppliers, Tri Marine is uniquely positioned to make a significant positive impact in sustaining global tuna fisheries. Tri Marine’s vision is rooted in a commitment to empowering local communities to benefit from tuna resources caught in their waters. This philosophy has inspired much of its sustainability efforts to protect local resources, and ensure communities where the fish is caught and processed see long-term economic benefits.

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Richard Boot

Richard recognized that the biggest impediment to sustainable sourcing in the seafood supply chain was in the middle – that retailers and distributors had no idea where to source sustainable seafood. All the commitments in the world wouldn’t help a company follow through on its promises without an information bridge to help them. So, in 2008 he built FishChoice, a non-profit listing marketplace where producers could connect with buyers.

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Tony Marta Wijaya

Tony Marta Wijaya is a tuna supplier in Moluccas, East Indonesia. These middlemen typically earn a lot of money when compared to the fishers they buy from, but Tony has put supporting his fishers ahead of personal gain. He was involved in the creation of a Fishers Association in the village of Waepure that obtained Fair Trade USA wild capture fisheries certification in late 2014, thus improving fisher’s marketing opportunities and reducing their reliance on suppliers like Tony. In addition to insisting that his fishers catch fish in a sustainable way, he is active in co-management groups collecting fisheries data, monitoring, and in efforts to increase safety and financial stability of fishers.

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Maria Damanaki

In 2010, when Maria Damanaki took up her position as Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for the European Union, only 5 species of fish in the European seas enjoyed healthy status. In 2014 at the end of her mandate, more than 27 species had recovered to a healthy state. She introduced a new European Common Fisheries Policy aimed at bringing fisheries to sustainable practices by 2020. She also established a system of international cooperation between USA, Japan, EU and almost all the countries involved in fisheries, for the seafood traceability and certification. This system can block the imports of fish caught illegally and protects the right of European citizens to fish sustainably, trade responsibly and consume the valuable seafood.

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Umino Sachiwo Miraini Nokosu Kai (Sustainable Seafood For the Future)

This group of Japanese seafood sustainability advocates is actively lobbying advisors to the Japanese parliament to influence them to implement a fisheries individual quota system based on scientific data, similar to those used in the E.U. and North America. The group’s goal is to move Japan to a sustainable seafood industry. In addition to a yearly conference, the group publishes and promotes seafood sustainability information through the internet. Its five members include academics and seafood restaurant owners in Japan.

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Young’s Seafood Limited

A longstanding supporter of sustainability, Young’s Seafood’s story is inspirational as it shows how committing to responsibly sourcing, and playing a positive role in the supply chain, isn’t just a short term initiative. Having led the way with the establishment of standards for their own corporate behavior in 2007, the company continues to innovate, drawing on the latest scientific research, and collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders to continue playing a positive role. They have proactively communicated their approach, raising awareness through the media, by speaking at international conferences like the World Fisheries Congress and by playing a positive role alongside NGOs in, for example, the development of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition. Young’s reach into the supply chain is global and their story shows that it is possible to influence and help affect global change.

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Precision Seafood Harvesting Ltd

This completely new approach does away with traditional trawl nets and, instead, harvests fish so they are contained and swimming comfortably underwater inside a large flexible PVC liner where they can be sorted for the correct size and species before being brought on-board the fishing vessel. The break-through design of the harvesting system allows fishing vessels to target specific species and fish size and greatly increases protection for small fish that can swim free through ‘escape portals’ and non-target fish (by-catch), which are released unharmed. Once on the deck, the fish are still swimming inside the liner, in perfect condition, meaning fresher, more sustainable fish for consumers and higher value products for fishing companies using the technology.

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Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators (COLTO)

An article in the June issue of Fishing News captured succinctly why COLTO is among the finalists in the Seafood Champion Awards. In the article it stated that “A decade ago there was an extensive fleet of illegal boats plundering the Southern Ocean; today Southern Ocean toothfish is an example of what a clean, well-managed fishery should be.” Since its establishment in 2003, COLTO has brought together some 32 members from 11 countries to work in unison to adopt stringent industry guidelines for responsible fishing and accountability. The efforts of COLTO and its members have contributed to radical reductions in seabird mortality, reduction in illegal fishing, and helping achieve that most of the Patagonian toothfish marketed in the world today is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. This is a great step forward for this organization that together is estimated to produce over 90% of the global catch of toothfish.

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Chef Ned Bell

As Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, Canada, Ned leads by example with a seafood menu that is 100% consistent with the recommendations of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program and a staff fully trained on sustainable seafood. In 2014, Ned rode his bike 8,700 km across Canada, hosting 20 events alongside some of the best chefs in the country, raising awareness of sustainable seafood and the importance of healthy oceans, lakes, and rivers. Ned founded Chefs for Oceans with a goal of engaging and inspiring his chef peers and communities from coast to coast and has become a sought after speaker internationally at events such as Terroir 2015, Comox Shellfish Festival, GAA GOAL conference, MBA’s Cooking for Solutions, EAT Festival and Global Civic Public Salon to name a few.

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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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