NOAA has just announced recipients of the second-annual sustainable fisheries leadership awards. NOAA Fisheries developed the national award program to honor innovation and excellence in marine stewardship. Recipients of the 2007 Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Awards were selected from 60 nominations for awards in six categories of achievement.
Don Hansen will receive a Special Recognition Award for improving the management programs for West Coast marine fisheries fostering open dialogue and understanding between Pacific fishery scientists, managers, and fishing communities. He is a member of the Pacific Fishery Management Council and a resident of Dana Point, CA.
Brian Rothschild will receive a Special Recognition Award for his long and sustained contributions to marine science and education. He is widely recognized as one of the most cited fishery scientists in the world, publishing over 100 scientific papers and book chapters. He is a former dean of the School of Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts and a resident of New Bedford, MA.
Don Kent will receive the Stewardship and Sustainability Award for furthering our understanding on minimizing the impacts of fishing operations on killer whales and for his pioneering research projects with marine finfish aquaculture and stock enhancement off the coast of California. He is president of Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, located in San Diego.
The Coastal Conservation Association of Texas will receive the Conservation Partnership Award for promoting volunteerism through its Bay Debris Cleanup program that brought together a broad group of citizens, industry, and local, state and federal governments to clear tons of debris from the bay and beach in coastal Texas. The Association is based in Corpus Christi.
World Wildlife Fund will receive the Science, Research, and Technology Award for inspiring innovation to reduce bycatch in the world's fisheries through its Smart Gear Competition. The organization is headquartered in Washington, DC.
Amigos de Bolsa Chica (Friends of Bolsa Chica) will receive the Coastal Habitat Restoration Award for preserving the 1,200 acre Bolsa Chica wetlands off the California coast allowing fresh ocean water to enter the wetlands for the first time in over 90 years. The organization is based in Orange County.
The John G. Shedd Aquarium will receive the Public Education, Community Service, and Media Award for educating and equipping consumers to make good personal decisions about seafood consumption, and educating the public about Great Lakes fisheries. The Shedd Aquarium is in Chicago.
In addition, Nelson Beideman will be recognized posthumously for his lifetime contributions and tireless efforts to preserve the economic viability of the pelagic longline fleet through sustainable fishing practices, and through reduction of sea turtle and marine mammal bycatch in the fishery. He was co-founder and executive director of Blue Water Fishermen's Association based in Barnegat Light, NJ.
More information about the 2007 Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Awards is available online.