IPNLF is delighted that the Republic of the Maldives and Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) have been shortlisted for Seafood Champions Awards, announced this week at the Seafood Expo Asia, in Hong Kong. These awards recognise individuals or groups – and countries! – "for outstanding leadership in promoting environmentally responsible seafood".
IPNLF supported the Republic of the Maldives nomination for the Advocacy award, for its work promoting sustainable management of the Indian Ocean tuna fishery, in particular the skipjack fishery. The Maldives has shown a dedication to advocacy, gaining recognition through Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of its skipjack pole-and-line fishery. IPNLF believes that the actions of the Maldives evidences its advocacy of the skipjack tuna sustainability agenda in the IOTC by energising interest and enthusiasm of both coastal states and further afield countries. It has shown dedication to public championing of sustainable seafood, influencing others to act transparently and responsibly, with a scientific foundation. The collective Maldivian people and organisations that come together to advocate for skipjack tuna include the Ministry of Fisheries, the Marine Research Centre (MRC), Maldives Seafood Processors and Exporters Association (MSPEA), and the IOTC delegates. IPNLF feels such collaborative working makes the Maldives a true Seafood Champion for Advocacy. RFMOs are notoriously complex to navigate and influence; through the work of the Maldives we have seen how one small nation has punched above its weight to create real progress and benefits for the whole IOTC region, and can act as a beacon for other RFMO delegates to aspire to.
Meanwhile, working in Indonesia we regularly cross paths with ally MDPI, and having seen its dedicated vision for a better future for fisheries and the coastal communities that rely on them, we knew it deserved to be nominated for the Vision Award. MDPI – whose establishment was supported by IPNLF member ANOVA – dares to extend its scope beyond the seas and into the homes and communities that depend on fisheries. IPNLF admires its wide remit which reflects its desire to see healthy stocks, healthy seas and healthy livelihoods. It has taken a holistic view of fisheries management and for that they should be recognised.
We have our fingers crossed tightly for both colleagues in the Maldives and Indonesia! The Seafood Champions Awards will be presented at the 11th SeaWeb Seafood Summit in New Orleans, 9-11th February 2015 by SeaWeb. Good luck to both! You can read more about the awards and the other nominees here.