Boat International has teamed up with leading ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation to launch The Ocean Awards, which will celebrate individuals, companies, legislators and projects that have made outstanding contributions to the health of the oceans.
Star judges of the awards will include Sir Charles Dunstone, profiled in the August issue of Boat International on sale soon, chef and filmmaker Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and financier Ben Goldsmith. The panel will be chaired by environmental journalist Charles Clover, whose book, The End of the Line, was turned into an award-winning documentary of the same name. The Ocean Awards are open to any projects or work that have taken place between June 2014 and June 2015.
The Ocean Awards are broken into 12 categories:
- Visionary – Politician or thinker who has achieved most for ocean conservation in the past year.
- Projects – Ocean project that has achieved the most in the past year.
- Policy – Political or corporate policy that has made the most valuable contribution to solving the oceans crisis.
- Personality – Person in the public eye who has done most to promote awareness of oceans crisis.
- Science – Scientific work or paper that made the most original, important or insightful contribution to ocean conservation in the past year.
- Technology – New technology or application thereof that made the biggest contribution to ocean conservation in the past year.
- FitzRoy award – Named after the captain of the Beagle, on which Darwin made his famous voyage. This is for the adventurer or explorer who did the most for ocean conservation in the past 12 months.
- Restaurateur/Chef – The restaurant group, chef or restaurateur who has made the most outstanding commitment to ocean conservation.
- Corporate Social Responsibility – The company that has done the most to address ocean conservation, whether through sustainability issues or addressing pollution threats, such as plastics.
- UK Supplier of the Year – The UK seafood supplier which has shown the most consistent, well-communicated and far-reaching commitment to sustainable sourcing.
- UK Retailer – The retailer that has done most through corporate policy and/or public engagement to address ocean issues in the past year.
- Judges' Award 2016 – The Judges' award is for a campaigning group, company or individual, outside of the above categories, whom the judges wish to recognise for their outstanding overall efforts in marine conservation throughout the year.
“Problems beset the oceans: plastic, pollution, acidification, climate change, deep-sea mining and over-fishing, still arguably the biggest threat to the ocean of all,” says Clover.
“Yet positive developments in fishing and aquaculture are making fishing and fish farming more sustainable. Technological developments are making the seas cleaner and innovative projects are giving communities a way of combating the overfishing of the resources on which they depend. It’s time to honour these projects and the people behind them with The Ocean Awards.”
Nominations have now closed, but keep coming back as we'll have more news about the awards soon. The results will be announced in the January issue of Boat International.