SeaWeb unveils finalists for 2017 Seafood Champion Awards

The 16 finalists include Susi Pudjiastuti, Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, GAA's Wally Stevens, and Mariah Boyle of FishWise, among others.

SeaWeb announced 16 finalists for the 2017 Seafood Champion Awards on Monday, all of whom have demonstrated "brilliance and tenacity" in working across borders, language barriers and industries to change our relationship with the sea.

Those nominated for the "Seafood Champion Award for Leadership" include Susi Pudjiastuti, Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, who has banned the use of bottom trawlers and other unsustainable catching devices; led the fight against illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and fought against the use of forced labor on fishing vessels.

Wally Stevens of the Global Aquaculture Alliance is also nominated, as is Mariah Boyle of FishWise, as well as Sea Pact, an alliance of nine leading North American seafood businesses.

The full list of categories and nominees is below:

Seafood Champion Award for Leadership

  • Susi Pudjiastuti, Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries
  • Wally Stevens of the Global Aquaculture Alliance
  • Mariah Boyle of FishWise
  • Sea Pact

Seafood Champion Award for Innovation

  • FISH-i Africa, a partnership of eight East African countries that combats large-scale illegal fishing by sharing information and taking collective enforcement action
  • Pelagic Data Systems, which has developed a vessel-tracking technology based on an affordable, solar-powered data collection device for small vessels
  • Alan Lovewell of the 1,200-member, community-supported fishery Real Good Fish
  • Karl Warr of Better Fishing

Seafood Champion Award for Vision

  • Bren Smith, who is leading the development and promotion of 3-D Ocean Farms.
  • Matthew Beaudin, executive chef of the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • The Marine Research Foundation in Malaysia
  • The Global Ghost Gear Initiative

Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy

  • The International Pole and Line Foundation
  • Ned Bell, executive chef at the Vancouver Aquarium and founder of Chefs for Oceans
  • Dr. Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations
  • Bill Mook of Mook Sea Farm

The finalists' announcement was made at Seafood Expo North America in Boston prior to a "Breakfast of Champions" where finalists kicked off a discussion on the next 20 years of sustainable seafood to a packed crowd.

Now in its 11th year, the Seafood Champion Awards program recognizes individuals and organizations for excellence in promoting environmentally responsible seafood.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 5 at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Seattle.

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