He stressed that the award made to anti-salmon farming campaigner Don Staniford on Wednesday was made on that basis.

"The award was made on the recommendation of a panel of journalists, and they don't make their judgement on behalf of WWF," said Mr Pepper. Heo has been deeply involved in the sustainability debate with Scotland's salmon industry and sits on the Scottish Executive's Working Party on Aquaculture.

Controversial figure He added: "Don is a controversial figure, and one can understand why the industry might not be too happy about him getting an award, but the award he received is in the judgement of those journalists on the panel, and it's made for excellence in campaigning.