June 23, 2018
Guy Dean leads 2018 Seafood Champion Awards winners
One of this year's four winners of the Seafood Champion Awards handed out by SeaWeb has, for almost 30 years, dedicated himself to the industry and the seafood sustainability cause.
Chosen to receive the Seafood Champion Award for Leadership, Guy Dean, vice president and chief sustainability officer of Albion Farms and Fisheries, has served in a variety of roles all along the seafood supply chain, from farmer, harvester and fisher, to processor and distributor.
He represents the seafood industry on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Multi-Stakeholder Committee and is also the co-founder of Sea Pact, a group of seafood companies committed to improving the social, economic and environmental performance of the global seafood supply chain.
"Guy not only understands what needs to happen, he is able to get his company to back his ideas, and that is truly inspiring", said awards judge Richard Boot, president of FishChoice.
"Guy has gone over and above his job to be a champion and leader in sustainable seafood. He is a driving force behind issues such as plastics and transparency, and is a thought leader in the space", he added.
Three other awardees, selected from a pool of 17 finalists, were chosen for the categories of innovation, vision and advocacy. All four awardees were accorded their due recognition during the SeaWeb Seafood Summit held in Barcelona, Spain, on June 18-22.
The Seafood Champion Award for Innovation went to Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) for its creation of the Ultra-Light System, a vessel-tracking technology suite that is completely solar-powered, affordable and compatible with boats of all sizes. An autonomous data collection device no larger than a smartphone, the Ultra-Light System records vessel location and transmits over a secured cellular network. Since its inception in 2014, PDS has launched programmes in over 15 countries.
The Seafood Champion Award for Vision went to Open Blue for its decade-long effort to revolutionise the mariculture industry by moving it into the open ocean, far removed from sensitive near shore ecosystems.
The company's native cobia fish are cultivated 12 kilometers off the coast of Panama in proprietary SeaStations, which are fully submerged at depths of up to 100 feet. Vertically integrated from egg to plate, Open Blue cobia became the world's first ASC-certified cobia operation in January. Additionally, it is the world's first company capable of offering four-star Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP)-certified cobia.
Open Blue "is progressive, forward facing and daring," said New Zealand fisherman and awards judge Karl Warr. "Open Blue has had the vision to grow fish from the outset in a way that addresses all of the environmental considerations. They have not grown as quickly as they might have if they disregarded these issues, but they had the vision to do it for the sake of open ocean aquaculture."
Awards Judge Jennifer Kemmerly of Monterey Bay Aquarium called Open Blue's innovative traceability system "an incredible necessity that benefits the full spectrum of stakeholders from the fishers to the importers to the buyers…Without traceability solutions for the artisanal sector, we lose the ability to harness market forces to incentivise change and reward better performers."
The Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy in 2018 was given to Patima Tungpuchayakul of Thailand, who founded the Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation. Tungpuchayakul, who has been an activist for more than two decades, has been integral in spreading awareness about chronic human rights violations and has worked to improve the lives of migrant workers and the laws governing their employment.
She rescued 3,000 trafficked workers stranded on remote islands in Indonesian waters by the Thai fishing industry between August 2014 and October 2016, leaving lasting positive change for the seafood industry and far beyond it.
"Patima's work is not always visible to the industry, but she has done an amazing job at uncovering labor atrocities, and freeing workers that have been enslaved," noted awards judge Dick Jones, CEO of Ocean Outcomes. "She does this work with no concern for her own safety, often putting herself in harm's way. She is a true advocate for positive change."