icon_arrow_down icon_arrow_left icon_arrow_left_large icon_arrow_right icon_arrow_right_large icon_arrow_up icon_back icon_bell icon_bullet_arrow icon_bullet_dot icon_call icon_close icon_close_large icon_compare icon_facebook icon_favourite icon_googleplus icon_grid_off icon_grid_on icon_information icon_instagram icon_login icon_menu icon_message icon_minus icon_pinterest icon_plus icon_quote_end icon_quote_start icon_radio_on icon_refresh icon_search icon_share icon_star icon_tick_on icon_twitter icon_video_play icon_youtube

Subscribe to our mailing list

Newsletter Preferences

Choose one or more newsletters
No, thanks
You are reading: 12 winners of The Ocean Awards

12 winners of The Ocean Awards

Loading content...

Winner —Projects: The Scottish White Fish Producers Association

For — its work to save North Sea cod

The Ocean Awards winner The Scottish White Fish Producers Association

Photo of Scottish White Fish Producers Association CEO Mike Park by Harry Cory Wright

_The Ocean Awards' Projects award sought out the ocean project that has achieved the most in the past year. The winner was the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, which has had a direct impact on the increase of North Sea cod recorded in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea's stock assessment in 2015. _

“I was at Rockall Bank as a 10 year old with the old line boats,” remembers Mike Park, whose career began as a fisherman but is now chief executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, which represents 170 individual vessels and 1,400 fishers with a collective turnover approaching €200 million. “How my father allowed it, I’m not sure, but I used to go out on boats at weekends and all through the summer holidays. After I left school I became a fisherman, and by 21 I had my first 25 metre trawler and a crew of eight. I was the youngest by 14 years and was expected to deliver by putting money in their pockets.”

But fishers know that their livelihood depends on there being fish in the sea. “Remember, ours is a brutal industry,” he continues. “You’re self-employed and you can only make money by being smarter, more ruthless and harder working than the next guy. Our industry is full of alpha males. It’s Darwinian. It’s survival of the fittest. Fishermen don’t necessarily want to be rich but they want to be richer than the guy next to them.”

Park therefore takes a pragmatic view of ocean conservation. “The Greens talk about a good environment being built on green credentials. I’ll deliver you the same built on business principles because the two come to the same point.”

Since 2010, the Scottish White Fish Producers Association has been remotely monitoring the discarding of cod by means of an onboard electronic system installed on fishing boats. The catch-quota scheme is still under trial and has fed into the recent reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, but fishers’ willingness to sign up to catch quotas indicates that they are open to pursuing new ways of operating. “If you can remove financial pressures, you remove archaic behaviour. That’s the essence of it,” says Park.

The Scottish White Fish Producers Association has also introduced a series of annual, seasonal closures to protect spawning aggregations at various times of the year and has worked to improve nets, promoting the use of those that reduce the capture of cod by 60 per cent. That the Marine Conservation Society removed cod from its list of “fish to avoid” last October is in part thanks to this.

Highly commended — Dr Jon Copley

Associate professor of marine ecology at the University of Southampton For – launching Exploring Our Oceans, a free six-week interactive online introduction to marine science, the only one of its kind, that has already been taken up by more than 10,000 students from all over the world.

Highly commended — Boyan Slat, CEO of The Ocean Cleanup

For – his design of a system involving floating barriers to capture plastic debris that has now raised almost $2.2 million towards funding the pilot phase. He hopes the first 2,000 metre system of barriers will be deployed in the Pacific in 2016.


Sponsored Listings

Winner — Policy: John D Podesta, former counsellor to US President Barack Obama

For — his part in leading the US National Ocean Policy

The Ocean Awards winner John D Podesta

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.


Sponsored Listings

Winner — Personality: Pharrell Williams

For — his role as creative director of Bionic Yarn

The Ocean Awards winner Pharrell Williams

Photo of Pharrell Williams by Ned and Aya for G-Star RAW

The Personality award at The Oceans Awards goes to the person in the public eye who has done the most to promote awareness of the crisis in the oceans.

Best known for the perfectly crafted, incredibly catchy and hugely commercial songs Happy, Get Lucky (with Daft Punk) and, more controversially, Blurred Lines (written and produced for Robin Thicke), all of which have sold several million apiece, Pharrell Williams is also creative director of Bionic Yarn.

The company, founded in 2009 by Tyson Toussant and Tim Coombs in New York, produces what it calls “the world’s first high-performance eco yarn”. Using fibres spun from plastic discarded in oceans or collected from shorelines, it creates “fabrics that are as strong as they are soft” by combining them with cotton. Its first collection used 10 tonnes of recycled PET plastic bottles – 700,000 bottles that might otherwise still be at sea, endangering wildlife and marine habitats – to produce jeans and other casual apparel in a collaboration with Dutch fashion brand G-Star RAW. The autumn/winter collection bore the strapline: “Turning the tide on ocean pollution.”

Williams’ involvement with Bionic Yarn has enabled the company to partner with several higher-profile brands to spread the message, and it is now in partnership with Timberland, with which it has launched a line of boots made entirely from plastics recovered from the sea, as well as Gap and Cole Haan. “We have a connection with the ocean,” says Williams. “It yields so much life. We owe it.”

Highly commended — Helena Bonham Carter, British actress and activist

For – stripping off and being photographed naked, hugging a 27kg bigeye tuna, especially when you are, as Bonham Carter puts it, “actually very phobic about fish”. The photograph was picked up by the world’s media and went viral.

In short, it achieved exactly what Blue Marine Foundation, which organised the shoot to raise awareness for its campaign to create more marine reserves in the UK Overseas Territories, set out to do.

Highly commended — Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor

For – belying his screen personae of the doomed steerage passenger in Titanic to Jordan Belfort (whose 1961 superyacht Nadine, originally built for Coco Chanel, sank off Sardinia in 1996) in The Wolf of Wall Street, both of whom didn’t have much luck on the water. But the stellar actor and producer is a committed environmentalist and philanthropist. He has pledged to donate $7 million to ocean conservation projects, urging leaders worldwide to “make ocean viability a priority […] to ensure the health of the oceans that are so vital to people’s lives all around the world”. And last summer the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation raised $40 million through a gala evening for the preservation of the ocean and environment.


Sponsored Listings
Loading content...
Show all results for “%{term}