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12 winners of The Ocean Awards

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The Ocean Awards winner John D Podesta
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Winner — Policy: John D Podesta, former counsellor to US President Barack Obama

For — his part in leading the US National Ocean Policy

Photo of John D Podesta by Allesandro D'Andrea

_The Policy award has been given to the political or corporate policy that has made the most valuable contribution to solving the global oceans crisis. The Ocean Awards winner John D Podesta had an instrumental role in US National Ocean Policy, which included the campaign to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Maritime Monument. _

White House Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton during his presidency and Counsellor to the President under Barack Obama until February 2015, John D Podesta is now chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The author of several books, among them The Power of Progress: How America’s Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate and Our Country, he was also instrumental in encouraging President Obama to expand the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument to form one of the largest marine protection areas in the world, ensuring it becomes off-limits to commercial fishing and other resource extraction activities, such as deep-water mining.

Other actions listed under the National Ocean Policy plan include the formation and implementation of more Marine Protected Areas, combating black-market fishing, regional marine planning, understanding the impacts of ocean acidification, building resilience in coastal communities and bolstering domestic shellfish aquaculture, all of which should contribute substantially to healthier oceans in which marine species and habitats can thrive.

A long-standing champion of responsible stewardship of the seas, he is also a former member of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, formed after the release of two high-profile reports on US ocean policy in 2003 and 2004, and the Global Ocean Commission, which he has described as “one of the most dynamic initiatives developing common-sense ways to manage fully 45 per cent of the globe that remains common property, outside any national jurisdiction”.

Highly commended — David Cameron, MP for Witney, West Oxfordshire, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2010

For – the clause in his party’s manifesto, published before the 2015 general election, that included a promise to protect precious marine habitats by creating a Blue Belt of marine reserves around all 14 of the UK’s Overseas Territories and completing the network of Marine Conservation Zones that surround the British coastline.

Highly commended — Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment in the Scottish Government

For – putting before the Scottish Parliament a Marine Conservation Order for measures that would ban the highly destructive practice of scallop dredging off the coast of Wester Ross, within the South Arran MPA.

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