2019 Seafood Champion Awards Finalists Announced

2019 Seafood Champion Awards Finalists Announced

Seafood Champion Award logo

 

2019 Seafood Champion Awards Finalists Announced

Leadership Category
Susan Jackson

World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative
Wakao Hanaoka
Hannah Macintyre

Innovation Category
Blue Star Foods

OceanMind
Catalina Offshore Products
Pacifical 

Vision Category
Janice Lao

Darian McBain
OPAGAC
AquaSpark
Austral Fisheries

Advocacy Category
Francisco Blaha

COMEPESCA
G16 Group
Stephen Fisher

Collaboration throughout diverse cultures and perspectives thrive

Boston, MA (March 17, 2019) – Today at Seafood Expo North America, SeaWeb and Diversified Communications announced the 2019 Seafood Champion Awards finalists. The 17 finalists exemplify the incredible work being done by the seafood industry and key stakeholders to make seafood a healthy, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable protein.

The Seafood Champion Awards seek to inspire and catalyze change by providing a platform to recognize those who are committed to overcoming obstacles, seeking novel solutions and fostering strategic partnerships to advance seafood sustainability. This year’s Seafood Champion Awards finalists represent a diverse cross-section of individuals, governmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and seafood companies from all corners of the globe. In addition to geographic and industry diversity, the Seafood Champion Awards is committed to elevating under-represented voices and promoting greater gender diversity in the seafood movement. Notably, the women finalists represent an array of accomplishments, including how we produce, process, sell and consume seafood.

“This year’s nominations demonstrate that change can come from anyone, anywhere and reflect how collaborations across culture, gender and industry silos are critical to advancing the sustainable seafood movement,” said Meghan Jeans, SeaWeb Program Director at The Ocean Foundation.

Whether promoting market-based approaches to improve seafood sustainability, improving social equity for small scale fishers, or advancing unique approaches to vessel monitoring for improved maritime security and sustainability, this year’s Seafood Champion Awards finalists reflect the wide spectrum of interests, expertise and strategies needed to make meaningful progress.

The annual Seafood Champion Awards program recognizes individuals and organizations in four categories: Leadership, Innovation, Vision and Advocacy. The winner in each category will be announced at a ceremony on June 11 at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Seafood Champion Award for Leadership recognizes people and organizations that bring stakeholders together to improve seafood sustainability or ocean health. The finalists are:

  • Susan Jackson, President of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), a global partnership of scientists, tuna processors, environmental non-profits and others focused on tuna stock conservation and the marine ecosystem. Susan founded ISSF with tuna industry leaders and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), and under her leadership ISSF has been a valuable conduit for collaboration for conservationists as well as business leaders worldwide by bringing together science, industry and environmental NGOs and government stakeholders working towards the long-term sustainability of tuna stocks.
  • World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), a multi-stakeholder alliance that drives solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear around the world. GGGI aims to improve the health of ocean ecosystems, protect marine animals from harm and safeguard human health and livelihoods. It is the first initiative dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear at a global scale.
  • Wakao Hanaoka. Since establishing Seafood Legacy in 2015, a social venture based in Tokyo that provides sustainable seafood consulting services, Wakao Hanaoka has focused on building Japan-centric solutions for seafood sustainability by addressing the importance of domestic, business-led initiatives to drive regulatory reforms. As a Japan-based organization, Seafood Legacy and Wakao are building bridges between the Japanese market and the global sustainable seafood community to accelerate positive change and strengthen harmony, a key value in Japanese business culture. His strong initiative is now combined with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, making sustainability a new norm.
  • Hannah Macintyre is Aquaculture & Fisheries Manager for Marks and Spencer (M&S), a UK retailer of food, clothing and furniture. In 2018, under Hannah’s leadership, M&S launched a platform to allow consumers to trace their products, affirming that 100% of M&S’s seafood products are sourced from sustainable fisheries. This platform is a first of its kind for a retailer – putting M&S at the forefront of the sustainable seafood movement. Within the UK retail space, she is responsible for M&S’s robust sustainable seafood policy that wins consumer trust (some 21 million M&S customers each week) and NGO backing (repeatedly ranking as a ‘Top Tuna Brand’ by Greenpeace).

The Seafood Champion Award for Innovation recognizes those who identify and apply new solutions to ecological challenges, market needs or sustainability barriers. The finalists are:

  • Blue Star Foods, a seafood company working to improve the lives of artisan fishers and the sustainability of the fishery. Artisanal fisheries have unique socio-economic and environmental challenges that are often overlooked by the global sustainable seafood community. Overcoming these barriers to sustainability requires innovative solutions. Blue Star Food’s unique approach to small-scale blue swimming crab fisheries in Indonesia and the Philippines is contributing to more socially-responsible and environmentally sustainable fisheries. In addition to creating an innovative traceability application that uses machine learning to analyze catch data for fishery monitoring; Blue Star has established fishing cooperatives that shield fisherman from predatory loans by offering microfinancing at low rates and the ability to create a savings account from a percentage of their profit. They are also spearheading group registration efforts and drastically reducing the registration cost for crab fishers.
  • OceanMind brings a unique approach to vessel monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS), one that combines technological tools and law-enforcement-style capacity building to create a culture of compliance in the oversight of a country’s fishing fleet. A few years ago, they brought their pioneering approach and their ability to build strong partnerships to pursue a program of work with the Royal Thai Government’s Department of Fisheries (DOF) to provide MCS support and to build capacity, as the government created agencies, processes and onboarded technology to gain control over their sizeable commercial fishing fleet.
  • Catalina Offshore Products’ (COP) project: A Culinary Engineering Approach to Increasing the Value of Local Fisheries: Reducing Fish Discards at Sea and Promoting Full Utilization is helping local fishermen increase the value of their catch. The project is a partnership between COP, scientists at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, San Diego fishermen and leading chefs, all working together to improve the sustainability of local fisheries.
  • Pacifical is the pioneer of the first large scale blockchain initiative within the tuna industry – the system covers their entire supply chain of about 35 million tuna caught annually in an area 40% bigger than Europe and more than 200 million consumer units per year in over 23 countries can be traced and verified through the Ethereum blockchain.

The Seafood Champion Award for Vision recognizes distinctive visions that significantly advance the sustainable seafood community. The finalists are:

  • Janice Lao has been working tirelessly behind the scenes in the corporate world to persuade her business colleagues to shift towards better sustainability practices in buying and offering sustainable seafood. She was instrumental in shifting the major Asian airlines on the non-carriage of shark fins and was listed in Forbes as one of the top female sustainability leaders and was awarded the 2019 Edie Sustainability Leader of the Year Award. She is now the Director of Group Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels.
  • Darian McBain leads Thai Union’s sustainability initiatives and activities. Over the last five years, her leadership has transformed Thai Union into a leader in sustainability in the food service industry, as noted in the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Darian also created SeaChange, a comprehensive set of commitments and actions to ensure that Thai Union is operating sustainably and constantly improving to help change the seafood industry for good.
  • OPAGAC The Organization of Producers of Frozen Tuna, The “Atún de Pesca Responsable (APR)” or Tuna from Responsible Fishing AENOR certification is the first fisheries certification scheme in the world to include ILO C188 as the reference to Decent Work at sea on board fishing vessels. It also has a Chain of Custody regulation certified by AENOR and before next summer, the first can of tuna will be able to have the APR logo, as a warranty of Decent Work and Responsible fishing. The current APR standard could be applied nowadays by any tuna fishing vessel, irrespective of their flag, and therefore can be used right away for those that want to certify their fishing activities.
  • AquaSparkan investment fund with a focus on sustainable aquaculture businesses around the world, is catalyzing entrepreneurship and pushing a vision highlighting the importance of sustainable aquaculture as a means of feeding a growing population. Investing in small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), Aquaspark is working to promote the production of safe, accessible and environmentally responsible marine and aquatic life. In the last five years, Aquaspark has invested in 16 early stage companies that are making big impacts in the aquaculture sector.
  • Austral Fisheries, starting as the first seafood business to join with WWF and Unilever in the MSC initiative in 1996; through certification of its four main fisheries as sustainable and well-managed by 2012; at the same time harnesses the power of legal industry and collaborations with NGOs and governments to eliminate IUU fishing of toothfish by setting up a group called COLTO (Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators). The journey continued further in 2016, with Austral Fisheries offsetting their carbon footprint. In 2018, Austral collaborated to develop technological tools with WWF and Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures, to harness blockchain traceability in the seafood production sector, linked to transparency, provenance and quality control of their seafood products.

The Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy recognizes the promotion of sustainability, use of the media to raise the profile of sustainable seafood, work to strengthen public policy and resource allocations, and championing of advances in sustainable seafood. Here are the finalists in this category: 

  • Francisco Blaha has diversity of experience and expertise in fisheries production and management, including serving crew member and a fisheries observer in the squid, hake and toothfish fleets in Southern Argentina, a fisher in the tuna longline fishery and in New Zealand, a councilor to the NZ Seafood Standards Council, an R&D Officer at a fishing company, and he has worked as a consultant in over 50 countries for a range of development organizations. He also earned an MSc in Fisheries Biology from Argentina’s fisheries research and development institute (INIDEP) and a second MSc (Food Science) at Auckland University. With this background, he brings a unique perspective to advocating for sustainability and good fisheries management and has worked to educate and advance good management with everyone in the supply chain from fishers to international institutions.
  • COMEPESCA is building a Mexican sustainable seafood movement. COMEPESCA, a multi-stakeholder group comprised of predominantly industry members, is dedicated to promoting the consumption of Mexican seafood products. They have designed and implemented #PescaConFuturo (or “fishing with a future”), a first of its kind campaign to promote the consumption of sustainable Mexican seafood and build the voice of responsible seafood producers and distributors.
  • G16 Group is a collection of 20 developing Coastal States in the Indian Ocean region that collaborate stronger voice in order to responsibly and fairly manage the shared tuna resources in the region. Such fisheries are immensely important for food security in addition to fueling local economies, however, the management decisions have been historically dominated by industrialized fleets from afar. At a time when key Indian Ocean tuna stocks are showing signs of over-exploitation the G16’s work is helping to improve management and conservation in a way that is both sustainable and equitable.
  • Stephen Fisher, the Sustainability Director at Sea Delight, a Florida-based seafood supplier, leveraged his role as an industry leader to support sustainable management of trans-boundary fisheries. He directly and publicly engaged with RFMO delegates, the individuals who are the decision makers, with the express aim of getting action on swordfish and mahi mahi. Steve made explicit reference to ‘market needs’ in his intervention, which both highlighted the sustainability credentials of the seafood marketplace, and put pressure on the RFMO to act in the best long-term interests of the catching sector (which is often overlooked for short-term gains). The significance of this was reflected in the chair of the WCPFC comments that she was pleased to hear suppliers were beginning to gain interest in the RFMO process and noted that their participation is needed.

For more information on the awards and finalists, please visit to www.seafoodchampions.org. For more information on the 2019 awards ceremony and the SeaWeb Seafood Summit, please visit www.seafoodsummit.org

About SeaWeb

SeaWeb serves the sustainable seafood community by fostering communication and networking and promoting the exchange of knowledge and ideas to help guide, inspire and reward progress towards greater seafood sustainability. SeaWeb is a project of The Ocean Foundation, a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen and promote organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. SeaWeb produces the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in partnership with Diversified Communications. For more information, visit: www.seaweb.org. 

About Diversified Communications

Diversified Communications is a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 14 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. The company’s global seafood portfolio of expositions and media includes Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, Seafood Expo Asia and SeafoodSource.com. Diversified Communications, in partnership with SeaWeb, also produces SeaWeb Seafood Summit, the world’s premier seafood conference on sustainability. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business. For more information, visit: http://www.divcom.com

# # #

Media contacts:
Jason Donofrio
The Ocean Foundation
202.318.3178
jdonofrio@oceanfdn.org

Ned Daly
Diversified Communications
ndaly@divcom.com

Blue Star Foods, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

Blue Star Foods, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

Blue Star Foods sells premium quality, responsibly sourced crab meat. By purchasing crab meat from Blue Star Foods, you support programs working to improve oceans and small fishing communities. Our technology-based approach to supply chain traceability deters illegal and unsustainable fishing practices. Our mission to create a more equitable crab fishery provides long-term economic benefits to all fisheries stakeholders and improves the lives of artisanal fishing communities.

Supporting Links:

Blue Star Foods Sustainability

Undercurrent News: Blue Star Foods’ founder sees ‘3BL’ effort resonating more with crab buyers

Stephen Fisher, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

Stephen Fisher, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

Starting with a small Japanese-American wholesale seafood company in the late 1980s Stephen Fisher brings more than 30 years of industry experience to his current work. Stephen has been Sea Delight’s lead Asia Pacific Consultant and Regional Manager since 2012 and is now Director of Sustainability. He has successfully completed dozens of seafood factory designs and has implemented fishery projects worldwide. As project leader in may of Sea Delight’s Fishery Improvement Projects he has worked on promoting the use of circle hooks in the Vietnam handline tuna fishery and in helping develop community-based catch data collection systems in Indonesian and Vietnamese small-scale fisheries.

Now coordinating all of Sea Delights sustainability efforts, Fisher has helped Sea Delight to develop new FIPs in both Southeast Asia and South America. He also designed and assisted in the development of a new onboard Android-based photo-data collection application that is now ready for at-sea trials.

With the experience and training to complete both FIP Pre Assessments and Action Plans Fisher can now help Sea Delight to lead more small and medium-scale fishery FIPs and work directly with fishing communities. Steve lives in Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Supporting Links:

Sea Delight News

Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission: Industry Letter to the WCPFC on Swordfish and Mahi Mahi

Susan Jackson, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

Susan Jackson, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

Susan S. Jackson, President and member of the Board of Directors of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), has led the organization from its inception in 2008, having facilitated both its legal formation and its substantial growth. Under Jackson’s leadership, ISSF has grown from a small association of eight global tuna processors into the world’s premier organization uniting industry leaders, the environmental community and leading scientists in the creation, advocacy and adoption of science-based best practices that advance the long-term sustainability of global tuna fisheries. Today, the organization boasts 25 participating companies, representing approximately 75 percent of annual canned tuna production.

ISSF has greatly benefitted from Jackson’s strategic vision and understanding of the complex issues of commerce, government operations, ecological pressures and scientific implications of sustainably harvesting tuna from the world’s oceans. Through her unwavering focus on collaboration, Jackson has created successful partnerships with constructive NGOs, scientists, governments and has led efforts to make ISSF an effective advocate for positive change in the Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) —the governing bodies responsible for managing tuna resources worldwide. Recognized by both conservationists and business leaders as unique in successfully bridging the gap between industry and NGOs/Government, ISSF’s private-public partnership approach has become a model for cultivating collaboration among all engaged stakeholders that share common goals, if not always common approaches.

Supporting Links:

ISSF Participating Companies

ISSF Proactive Vessel Register

ISSF Five Year Plan: Advancing Sustainable Tuna Fisheries

Wakao Hanaoka, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

Wakao Hanaoka, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

After conducting marine conservation works in the Maldives and Malaysia, Wakao joined Greenpeace Japan as a Senior Ocean Campaigner, where he started the Sustainable Seafood Market Project. In 2015, Wakao founded Seafood Legacy, a Tokyo based sustainable seafood consultancy, to build Japan-centric solutions for the seafood industry by addressing the importance of domestic business-led initiatives to create a driving force for regulatory reforms. Wakao also serves as an Expert Advisor of the Cabinet Office Council for Promotion of Regulatory Reform Fishery Working Group, and a Committee Member of the Fishery Agency Wide Sea-area Fisheries Adjustment Commission. Passionate about bridging global initiatives and the Japanese market, he also actively engages in global collaborative efforts such as Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions, Global Sustainable Seafood Initiatives, and Global Seafood Ratings Alliance. Wakao holds BS in marine environmental science and marine biology.

Supporting Links:

Seafood Legacy

World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

World Animal Protection’s Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), a project of World Animal Protection, is a cross stakeholder alliance of fishing industry, private sector, corporates, NGOs, academia and governments focused on solving the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide.

GGGI believe the solution to this problem lies in working together across all sectors to achieve maximum impact for our oceans and the life within them.

World Animal Protection would like to dedicate the honor of this finalist selection to their colleague Joanna Toole. Learn more about an ocean hero who is dearly missed.

 

Supporting Links:

Global Ghost Gear Initiative Projects

2017 GGGI Benchmark Report

Pacifical, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

Pacifical, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

Pacifical is the global tuna market development company jointly set up by the 8 Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and the small pacific territory of Tokelau, to promote the catch, production, distribution and trade of PNA MSC certified sustainably caught free school skipjack and yellowfin tuna to consumers around the world.

Pacifical has been at the forefront of traceability since 2011 offering unprecedented traceability from consumer back to the moment of catch to all its partners. In 2018, Pacifical launched a tailored and comprehensive blockchain initiative covering all its MSC certified sustainably caught tuna. This innovation sees blockchain integration covering over 220 large fishing vessels MSC catch, the entire supply chain and chain of custody of about 35 million tuna fish caught annually in an area with a surface 40% bigger than Europe, and provides an unparalleled level of transparency and traceability unique to Pacifical to build the highest level of trust on the sustainability of the tuna catch.

All MSC Products from the PNA region carry the Pacifical geographical indication as clear representation of the origin of the fish and the end market’s commitment to support the small PNA countries economic development.

Supporting Links:

Pacifical.com

AquaSpark, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

AquaSpark, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

Aqua-Spark is a global investment fund with a mission to transform the global aquaculture industry into one that is healthier, more sustainable and more accessible. As very active investors, they invest in aquaculture companies across the value chain, from farming operations to alternative feed ingredients, disease battling, technology, all the way to consumer facing aquaculture products. These companies are solving some of the industry’s big challenges while bringing returns that are comparable to today’s traditional industry. The portfolio works as an ecosystem, with the companies agreeing to collaborate on optimal solutions, and work together toward this shared vision of a more efficient global aquaculture industry.The vision is a portfolio of 60-80 companies by 2030, creating a large, all encompassing example of an aquaculture system that works.

This ecosystem portfolio lives within a much larger global ecosystem of industry partners, NGOs, investors, experts and institutions aligned toward the same vision of a more sustainable global aquaculture industry.

Supporting Links:

AquaSpark.nl

ResponSEAble: Sustainable Fisheries & Aquaculture

TED Talks: Mike Velings – The Case For Fish Farming

OceanMind, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

OceanMind, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

OceanMind is an impact-oriented not-for-profit organisation that empowers enforcement and compliance to protect the world’s fisheries. We provide insights and intelligence into fishing compliance to those who can most effectively use it. We support government authorities and seafood buyers by providing expertise and knowledge paired with advanced technologies to enable responsible sourcing and effective enforcement. Effective enforcement leads to deterrence and increased compliance. This combined with the power of the market choosing provably responsible sources, drives sustainability.

Supporting Links:

Ocean Mind Global

Janice Lao, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

Janice Lao, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

Janice Lao is the Director – Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at The Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels Limited. She is an environmental scientist and development economist, multi-awarded throughout her 15-year career, most recently listed in Forbes as one of the top female sustainability leaders and was award the 2019 Edie Sustainability Leader of the Year Award. Throughout her international career, she has been based in Asia, North America and Europe, and worked for world-renowned international think tanks and blue-chip multinational conglomerates in the transport, energy, extractive, FMCG, property and hospitality sectors. Her work has been highlighted by global organisations such as Fortune’s Change the World list in 2017.

Janice’s expertise lies in embedding sustainability into businesses– ranging from sustainability management, successful identification and implementation of projects using green bond, M&A, and equity financing structures, as well as advising board members/senior management. She has a masters and a diploma in business from the University of Oxford.

 

Hannah Macintyre, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

Hannah Macintyre, Seafood Champion Finalist, Leadership

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is an international, multi-channel retailer, with over 1000 stores in the UK and more than 400 stores across 55 international territories. Sustainable sourcing of raw materials is at the heart of the M&S procurement strategy and this was reinforced through the launch of their Plan A campaign in 2007, which remains live today.

As Fisheries & Aquaculture Manager, Hannah is responsible for leading M&S’s strategy for global sustainable seafood procurement, delivering security of supply and ensuring sources are in line with customer expectations on environmental, animal welfare and social and ethical standards.

A Marine Biology graduate, Hannah first worked for Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd., a UK based marine consultancy company, providing scientific advice on the impacts of major industrial and construction developments in the marine environment.

Since joining M&S in January 2010, Hannah has worked on a number of projects both internally and in collaboration with the NGO community and industry. In 2011, Hannah played a key role in the development and launch of Forever Fish, a major, cross business, Plan A campaign. More recently, Hannah has been responsible for launching an innovative, interactive transparency tool, helping millions of M&S customers to connect with their seafood products and make informed choices.

In addition to her internal commitments, Hannah also is also a Board Director of Fisheries Innovation Scotland, and represents M&S on a number of initiatives, including the Responsible Fishing Scheme Oversight Board, multiple Fishery Improvement Project steering committees, the Global Tuna Alliance and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative.

Supporting Links:

M&S Blog: WORLD OCEANS DAY: WHY WE’VE BACKED THE RESPONSIBLE FISHING SCHEME AND THE GLOBAL GHOST GEAR INITIATIVE

M&S Interactive Map

M&S Q&A with Hannah Macintyre

G16 Group, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

G16 Group, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

The G16 Group of Like-Minded Coastal States of the Indian Ocean is an informal group that got started at the margins of the first meeting of Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) Technical Committee on Allocation Criteria in February 2011. Since then, the G16-Group have been meeting regularly prior to each TCAC and annual Commission meetings. More recently the Group has been active, having meetings at various times of the year, but largely focused on drafting proposals important to the coastal states. So far 19 meeting of the G16 Group have been held with participants representing 15-17 coastal states of the Indian Ocean.

Supporting Links:

IPNLF: Debate of orchards and apples unifies Coastal States as IOTC wraps up

Francisco Blaha, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

Francisco Blaha, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

Francisco’s experience ranges all across the fisheries sector since the 1980s, starting as a deckhand and later fisheries observer in the squid, hake and toothfish fleets in the South Atlantic, then moved to longliners and purse seiners in the Western Central Pacific, and back to trawlers and longliners in NZ. He worked his way in the fisheries world to his present position as an advisor for over 12 international organizations in more than 55 countries worldwide, with a period in FAO Rome as a Fishery Officer. He gained an MSc in Fisheries Science and then another in Food Science along the way.

Based in NZ since 1995, he has assisted industry and official institutions in NZ, the Pacific, Southern Africa, Latin America and South East Asia a in a wide range of Fisheries areas such as Regulatory Compliance, PSM, MCS, EU IUU & SPS Market Access Requirements and Fisheries Information Management Systems. 

Presently he is supporting the integration of PSM, MCS and CDS in the Pacific for FFA, working as an operational MCS advisor in the Marshall Islands and Kiribati under a NZ MFAT contract, and also working with FAO on decent labor in Fisheries. Being able to work in 3 languages, he is comfortable in fishing boats, processing factories and boardrooms (mostly in that order). He also maintains an active blog on fisheries issues.

Supporting Links:

FranciscoBlaha.info

Francisco’s Blog

TED Talk: Fighting Illegal Fishing

FAO TV: Francisco Blaha, Fisheries consultant, Pacific Islands

Dr. Darian McBain, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

Dr. Darian McBain, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

Dr. Darian McBain is the Global Director of Sustainable Development at Thai Union, the largest seafood processor in the world. Her previous work includes serving as the Sustainable Procurement Lead for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, advising the United Nations, working in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, and heading her own strategy and sustainability consultancy. She holds a PhD on social indicators for global supply chain analysis from the University of Sydney, where she serves as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer of Integrated Sustainability Analysis. Darian is the winner of the Edie Sustainability Leader of the Year Award 2018 and the Ethical Corporation 2018 Responsible Business Leader of the Year.

 

Supporting Links:

2017 SeaChange Sustainability Report

Undercurrent News: Thai Union named on Dow Jones sustainability index for fifth straight year

SeafoodSource News: Thai Union, Chicken of the Sea, and Monterey Bay Aquarium announce sustainability collaboration

COMEPESCA, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

COMEPESCA, Seafood Champion Finalist, Advocacy

COMEPESCA, a multi-stakeholder group comprised of predominantly industry members, is dedicated to promoting the consumption of Mexican seafood products. They have designed and implemented #PescaConFuturo (or “fishing with a future”), a first of its kind campaign to promote the consumption of sustainable Mexican seafood and build the voice of responsible seafood producers and distributors. An expert advisory committee was formed to set the sustainability guidelines of the campaign. The committee looked to groups such as CASS in order to build upon lessons learned and tools created in other areas of the world and adapt global best practices to the Mexican context. Once the guidelines of the campaign were adopted, COMEPESCA worked with top design and communication agencies to undertake a forward-facing campaign targeting top-chefs, high-end restaurants and culinary opinion leaders.

Supporting Links:

www.pescaconfuturo.com

Catalina Offshore Products, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

Catalina Offshore Products, Seafood Champion Finalist, Innovation

Founded by Dave Rudie in 1977, Catalina Offshore Products was once exclusively a sea urchin/uni wholesaler. Today it is one of the largest buyers of local seafood in San Diego, specializing in wild species found off the West Coast, from Southern and Baja California to the Pacific Northwest. Acting as a direct receiver, it encompasses a wholesale division, online store and walk-in fish market and counts some of the top chefs in the U.S. among its customers. The company’s ongoing commitment to providing responsible seafood choices and promoting full utilization has enabled collaborations with a network of respected industry partners, including NOAA, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Seafood for the Future and Seafood Watch. Currently, nearly 75 percent of its offerings are sustainably sourced and traceable to the fishery or boat. Of those rated by Seafood Watch, 91 percent are “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative”. Catalina Offshore employees nearly 75 individuals and proudly, is still family owned and operated. 

Supporting Links:

catalinaop.com

Seafood Source News: Catalina Offshore Products receives grant to grow demand for opah

NOAA Fisheries News: Seafood Industry and Scientists Team Up to Make the Most of Opah

San Diego Magazine: It’s Time For Diners To Give Opah A Try

 

OPAGAC, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

OPAGAC, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

The group OPAGAC-AGAC represents 9 companies, 47 purse seiners, that operate in tropical waters of the 3 major Oceans: Atlantic, Indian and Pacific. Since its inception OPAGAC has strived to ensure that its fleet operates sustainably, in full compliance with domestic and international requirements.

Opagac’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices materialized in the signature, in February 2016, of a MOU with WWF to join efforts in the implementation of a Fishery Improvement Project. OPAGAC’s FIP will last up to five years within which the OPAGAC fleet will aim to undertake certification of its fishery with the Marine Stewardship Council. OPAGAC hopes to be the first purse seine fleet to achieve full certification of its fishery, including all fishing modes. 

Supporting Links:

OPAGAC.org

BUENAS PRÁCTICAS PARA UNA PESCA ATUNERA DE CERCO RESPONSABLE

AENOR.com

Austral Fisheries, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

Austral Fisheries, Seafood Champion Finalist, Vision

Austral Fisheries is one of Australia’s largest integrated commercial fishing companies, whose seafood can be found in some of the world’s finest restaurants. From the giant Skull Island Tiger Prawns caught in Australia’s Northern Prawn Fishery to the prized Glacier 51 Toothfish from Australia’ sub-Antarctic, everything we do and catch is driven by the pursuit of quality and sustainability.  The four Australian Commonwealth fisheries that Austral operate in are

independently certified as sustainable and well managed by the Marine Stewardship Council.  The company and its wild caught products are also certified as carbon neutral under the Australian Government Carbon Neutral Program.

Supporting links:

www.australfisheries.com.au

Austral Fisheries Carbon Neutral Public Disclosure Summary

Glacier 51 Toothfish Instagram 

Skull Island Tiger Prawns Instagram

2019 Seafood Champion Award Nominations Now Open!

2019 Seafood Champion Award Nominations Now Open!

Nominations open for 2019 Seafood Champion Awards

Seafood Champion Award logo

PORTLAND, ME, November 28, 2019—Diversified Communications and SeaWeb today announced the opening of nominations for the 2019 Seafood Champion Awards.

First presented in 2006, the Seafood Champion Awards recognize outstanding contributions to sustainable seafood and ocean conservation.

Nominations are encouraged on behalf of individuals or organizations whose accomplishments demonstrate exemplary commitment to advancing seafood sustainability in the fishing, aquaculture, supply chain, retail, and restaurant or foodservice sectors, as well as conservation, science, academia and the media. The awards recognize those who are working independently to pursue solutions and those seeking cross sectoral opportunities to work collaboratively.

Nominations will close at 11:59 EST on January 15, 2019.

The 2019 Seafood Champion Awards will be presented at the 15th edition of the SeaWeb Seafood Summit, held June 10-14 in Bangkok, Thailand.

“There are so many great sustainable seafood initiatives and projects across the globe being led by the seafood industry and with industry working in collaboration with governments, the conservation community and seafood dependent communities,” says Liz Plizga, Vice-President for Diversified Communications.

“The Seafood Champion Awards let us celebrate the great efforts within the seafood industry to drive real change toward sustainability, and also allow us to tell positive stories about how such sustainable seafood supports communities, a healthy ocean, and provides a healthy clean protein to billions of consumers,” adds Mark J. Spalding, President and CEO of SeaWeb.

Four finalists and one winner will be chosen for each of the following categories:

 Seafood Champion Award for Leadership

An individual or entity that displays leadership by organizing and convening seafood stakeholders to improve the sustainability of seafood and ocean health. 

Seafood Champion Award for Innovation

An individual or entity that identifies and applies creative new solutions to address: ecological challenges; existing market needs; barriers to sustainability.

Seafood Champion Award for Vision

An individual or entity that establishes a clear and compelling vision of the future that inspires positive change for sustainable seafood in technology, policy, products or markets, or conservation tools.

Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy

An individual or entity who positively influences public policy, uses the media to raise the profile sustainable seafood, or influences public discourse and engages key stakeholders by publicly championing advances in sustainable seafood.

For information on past winners, interviews, photo and video gallery, and media kit, please visit www.seafoodchampions.org.

To nominate a Champion, visit https://www.seafoodsummit.org/nominate-a-seafood-champion/ .

For information on the SeaWeb Seafood Summit, please visit www.seafoodsummit.org

About SeaWeb: SeaWeb serves the sustainable seafood community by fostering communication and networking and promoting the exchange of knowledge and ideas to help guide, inspire and reward progress towards greater seafood sustainability. SeaWeb is a project of The Ocean Foundation, a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen and promote organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. SeaWeb produces the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in partnership with Diversified Communications. For more information, visit: www.seaweb.org.

About Diversified Communications: Diversified Communications is a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 15 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. The company’s global seafood portfolio of expositions and media includes Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, Seafood Expo Asia and SeafoodSource.com. Diversified Communications, in partnership with SeaWeb, also produces SeaWeb Seafood Summit, the world’s premier seafood conference on sustainability. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business. For more information, visit: http://www.divcom.com

 

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Media contact:

Jon Bass

Marketing Manager, Diversified Communications

+1 207 842 5563

jbass@divcom.com

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