The International Pole & Line Foundation (IPNLF), the non-profit that is committed to developing and supporting responsible tuna fisheries, is one of four finalists for the 2017 Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy, SeaWeb announced at the Boston Seafood Expo North America. A panel of seafood sustainability experts from industry and nonprofit organisations based in Asia, Europe and North America recognised IPNLF for spearheading an effort by Indian Ocean countries to reform tuna fisheries management. IPNLF works across the supply chain to implement practical fishery projects, advocate for responsible policy and management measures and advance our scientific understanding of responsible tuna fisheries. The organisation played a central role in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission’s groundbreaking adoption of a precautionary harvest strategy.
Adam Baske, IPNLF Director for Policy & Outreach comments on the achievement, “We are thrilled that this groundbreaking achievement has been recognised by SeaWeb and to be a finalist in the Seafood Champion Awards. The adoption of a Harvest Control Rule for Indian Ocean skipjack tuna signified a pivotal point for fisheries management and seafood sustainability; it paves the way for a future that prioritises healthy fisheries and thriving communities.”
The annual Seafood Champion Awards programme, now in its 11th year, recognises individuals and organisations for excellence in promoting environmentally responsible seafood. There are 16 finalists in four categories. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 5 at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle.
“This year’s finalists have a global perspective, whether they act locally or at a broader level,” said Mark Spalding, president of SeaWeb and The Ocean Foundation. “Improving seafood’s sustainability requires addressing difficult political, technical, social and economic questions. To create change, you have to forge alliances and bring people together around a common cause. These are not easy things to do, but the Champions on this list have forged ahead and are making real progress.”
The Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy recognises 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. In addition to the International Pole & Line Foundation, the finalists are:
- Ned Bell, Ocean Wise executive chef at the Vancouver Aquarium and founder of Chefs for Oceans, who has made sustainable seafood his mission. In 2014, he rode his bike 8,700 km across Canada, hosting 20 events alongside some of the country’s best chefs to raise awareness of sustainable seafood.
- Dr. Caleb Otto, former Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations, who has led his small island nation to a position of leadership on the international stage through his passionate advocacy for ocean health and sustainability at the United Nations.
- Bill Mook of Mook Sea Farm in Maine, who is modeling how shellfish growers everywhere can address the threat of ocean acidification. He has become a resource for hatchery and farm operators in the U.S. and abroad, counseling them on how to avoid losses and exchanging innovative ideas for protecting the industry.