2017 Seafood Champion Awards winners

Seafood Champion for Leadership

Susi Pudjiastuti

Indonesia Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Susi Pudjiastuti on a boat looking through binocularsFinalist, Seafood Champion Awards Leadership Category

Known for her crackdown on illegal fishing, Susi Pudjiastuti’s contribution to seafood sustainability goes beyond that one issue. Reforms championed by this successful seafood entrepreneur­–turned–government minister range from banning destructive fishing gear to fighting slavery.

Indonesia is a vast country, spread over many islands. It is also a developing country, with limited enforcement capacity. Minister Pudjiastuti, working within President Joko Widodo’s cabinet, found an effective way to send a clear message to foreign vessels conducting IUU fishing in Indonesia’s waters: blow them up. After the engine and fuel are removed, seized vessels are packed with explosives and destroyed with considerable media attention.

While her high-profile actions against IUU fishing receive the most attention, she has been a lifelong advocate for ocean health, having ratified the Port State Measures Agreement, introduced minimum catch sizes for certain species, banned the use of harmful fishing gear that threatens the environment, established marine protected areas, and improved marine species protections.

Remarkably, Ms. Pudjiastuti was nominated for her Seafood Champion Award by a seafood processing company in Indonesia that was targeted by the minister. Nonetheless, they are fans. “We believe in her vision that by having a near-term ‘pain’, in the long run it will be very good for the whole environment of the ocean in Indonesia, and we will benefit.”


Seafood Champion for Innovation

FISH-i Africa

FISH-i Africa logoFinalist, Seafood Champion Awards Innovation Category

Developing countries are often seen as powerless to stop illegal fishing in their waters. FISH-i Africa, a partnership of eight East African nations, is challenging this perception with a low-cost information-sharing solution to combat illegal fishing in the Western Indian Ocean.

FISH-i enforcement officials on a boat deckThe eight countries—Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania—bring together national enforcement authorities, regional organizations and international experts to combat large-scale illegal fishing. For years, illegal operators have been successfully exploiting the fish-rich waters of the Indian Ocean and taking advantage of the region’s weak governance and limited operational and enforcement capacity. The FISH-i Africa Task Force, launched in 2012, provides authorities with the information, intelligence and capacity to take action against illegal operators at a low cost. A string of investigations, settlements and prosecutions as well as improved licensing and flagging checks have resulted from the cooperation among FISH-i Africa’s members, producing a more compliant fisheries sector.

FISH-i Africa has driven over 30 investigations, resulting in successful fines and prosecutions that provide a strong deterrence to illegal activity and promote legitimate operators. It has also compiled significant evidence about illegal operators’ methods, which include using dual identities, creating fraudulent documents, engaging in corruption and hiding behind weak flag states.

FISH-i Africa is looking to expand their model to grow greater cooperation among other flag, port and market states around the world.


This award is recognition for all the Task Force members who have been prepared to do things differently, to work together with their neighbours and to really take on the challenge of stopping illegal fishing. We hope this award will enable FISH-i to grow its network and to work more closely with the seafood industry to improve transparency and sustainability.

Per Erik Bergh

Director, FISH-i Africa Task Force, Stop Illegal Fishing

Seafood Champion for Vision

Matt Beaudin

Executive Chef, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Chef Matt portraitFinalist, Seafood Champion Awards Vision Category

Matthew Beaudin is leading the shift to local and sustainable seafood in the Monterey Bay restaurant scene. Chef Matt transformed the product sourcing of the Monterey Bay Aquarium by shifting $1 million in buying power to local producers and fishermen. Over 99 percent of the products used in his kitchen come from less than 90 miles away.

His initiatives have been wide-ranging, including improving traceability, to determine where seafood was caught and by which boat; working with local seafood purveyors and fishers to adopt reusable plastic totes instead of styrofoam packaging; and connecting with local squid fishers to source squid in season just hours after harvest—squid is typically harvested locally but sent to China for processing before being shipped back. 
Chef Matt in an aquaponics greenhouseChef Matt is highly respected for his work with orphanages to improve nutrition and quality of life for children. In partnership with the Binational Committee in Tijuana, Mexico, Matt worked to pilot a program at two orphanages supporting children who are terminally ill with HIV. The goal is to build and maintain sustainable aquaponics gardens to provide the children with access to fresh vegetables and fish protein. The program is patterned after a similar program he started while running the kitchens at a jungle base camp in Rwanda. 

In 2017, he is opening the first of many restaurants replicating his sustainability model in Mexico. The restaurants will employ orphans, teaching them a profession while providing them with income and reducing the orphanages’ reliance on the government as they will receive all restaurant proceeds after expenses.

Chef Matt petting a goatMatt believes that every chef needs to know where the food they use is grown or harvested and feels fortunate to be in a place with such a strong shared vision. “I know the fishermen we work with. My job is to maintain the integrity of the raw ingredients they provide and essentially put our collective passion on the plate.”  

An avid spokesperson, he has promoted Seafood Watch and sustainable seafood practices in the more than 20 cities he visited in 2016. His efforts show that the sustainability of food rests upon interconnected systems, each affecting and supporting others. Because of Matt’s efforts, many other chefs are now changing their procurement processes, working more closely with local fishers, and engaging in support of groundfish fisheries. 

Chef Matt has demonstrated successfully that in less than two years, it is possible to lift up entire communities while supporting the local economy and advocating for more sustainable practices. “We go to the fields to shake the hands of each of our farmers and to the docks to meet and work with the fishermen who land our catch, to develop a shared approach with our partners—one that’s focused on conservation, sustainability and preserving our ocean so that we can not only maintain but restock our resources for future generations.”


I am so deeply honored to be recognized among such driven leaders and entrepreneurs worldwide helping to raise awareness and sound the call to action on all fronts and accept this award humbly on each of their behalves. 

Matt Beaudin

Executive Chef, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Seafood Champion for Advocacy

Ned Bell

Executive Chef, Vancouver Aquarium

Finalist, Seafood Champion Award Advocacy Category

Ned Bell head shotNed Bell, the Ocean Wise Executive Chef at the Vancouver Aquarium, founded Chefs for Oceans to raise awareness about sustainable seafood, creating a movement that is changing the way people think about the seafood they eat. Ned’s cooking philosophy is globally inspired and locally created. 

Ned is a leading chef who has gone beyond cooking to making sustainable seafood his mission. 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 about sustainable seafood and the importance of healthy oceans, lakes and rivers. 

Ned by the ocean with his bikeNed is one of the driving forces behind a campaign asking the Canadian government to designate March 18 as National Sustainable Seafood Day. He has used his influence to recruit other chefs to support this initiative and has hosted three National Sustainable Seafood Day events, in Vancouver (2013), Ottawa (2014) and Toronto (2015).

In 2016 Ned left his position as Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and YEW seafood + bar, an Ocean Wise partner, to join the Vancouver Aquarium. He is the only Canadian chef on the Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon task force. 

Ned’s goal is to engage and inspire his chef peers and communities from coast to coast, and he has become a sought-after speaker both in North America and abroad. 



Winning the Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy is one of the greatest accomplishments of my culinary career. As an Seafood Champion, I will continue to work in my passion with food, for change in communities in my own back yard and around the world.This extraordinary award will allow me to dive deeper in my work as an educator, mentor and as leader amongst my peers who strive for change and healthy lakes oceans and rivers globally.

Ned Bell

Founder, Chefs for Oceans, and Ocean Wise Executive Chef, Vancouver Aquarium

International Pole & Line Foundation

IPNLF logoFinalist, Seafood Champion Award Advocacy Category

The International Pole and Line Foundation promotes socially and environmentally responsible pole-and-line fisheries around the world. In 2016, the foundation played a central role in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s adoption of a precautionary harvest strategy measure, a first for global tuna management.

IPNLF worker on a boatTunas are some of the most difficult species to manage effectively, as they are migratory, navigating huge geographical areas, and sought after by many competing fisheries. They are also very important to coastal communities that often lack a strong voice in international management bodies. In an effort to change that, the International Pole and Line Foundation took a leadership role in reforming tuna fisheries management across the entire Indian Ocean in 2016.

Early in 2016, scientists determined that Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna was overfished and that other species could go the same way if immediate action was not taken. While the International Pole and Line Foundation had been moving this work forward for years by supporting scientists and informing decision makers, this threat called for fast and effective action. The foundation convened a workshop, gathering representatives from 19 Indian Ocean coastal states and coordinating engagement with its network of members. In the end, over 14 countries co-sponsored a proposal (an IOTC record) spearheaded by a determined delegation from the Maldives.

IPNLF manager Adam Baske (right) and M. Shiham Adam of Maldives (left) conferThe adoption of the Harvest Control Rule for Indian Ocean skipjack tuna signified another pivotal point for fisheries management and seafood sustainability. It was the first time that a tuna management body had agreed on a proactive, precautionary management system while a stock was still at a healthy level. The adoption paves the way for a new era in tuna fisheries management.


This award is both a great honour for IPNLF and an important milestone in our progress. Not only does it acknowledge the tireless efforts and determination of our team to get a job done; it also recognises how even a small organization can bring about significant change!

Being a Seafood Champion and all that this accolade represents raises our global profile, bringing further opportunities for engagement and collaboration. It also sends a clear message to stakeholders everywhere that management bodies can and will respond to sufficient constructive pressure to safeguard stocks and livelihoods.

Juiette Tunstall

Manager, International Pole & Line Foundation

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