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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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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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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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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Chef Barton Seaver

Executive chef Barton Seaver and his team at Hook Restaurant embodied seafood sustainability for the restaurant industry. Hook was a 100 percent sustainable, fish-focused restaurant opened by Seaver in spring 2007. In that short time, Seaver and his staff at Hook won a reputation for creative sustainability by embracing new, responsibly sourced fish species and by utilizing the restaurant as a forum for educating diners on sustainability.

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Josh Goldman, Australis Aquaculture

Australis Aquaculture farms and distributes Barramundi across the US marketplace. The company utilizes sustainable aquaculture technology, such as innovative water reuse systems and feeds to improve the environmental performance of its farms. As one of the world’s largest indoor fish farms, Australis is adamant about the high quality of both feed and fish, and works closely with several environmental groups to ensure consistency. The company supports its fishermen by paying better prices and advancing them feed and equipment, enabling them to better themselves and their communities.

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