The Sustainability Award

sponsored by The Fishmongers’ Company

The Sustainability Award recognises and rewards outstanding innovation and achievement towards improving sustainability and environmental responsibility within the UK fishing industry. Nominations can be in respect of individuals, organisations, companies or other bodies working in the UK seafood industry. The nominee must demonstrate that during 2017 they made an outstanding contribution to improving sustainable practices within the UK fishing industry through advocacy or innovation.

The result of this category will not be determined by public voting. Instead it will be determined by a panel of judges drawn from the fishing industry, using all supporting evidence provided through the nomination process.


Alan Dwan, Skipper Ajax PZ 36 – MSC Accreditation SW Hake Fishery

With 30 years’ experience of fishing hake, Alan Dwan was a strong team player in the Cornish FPO’s proactive move to enter the SW hake fishery for MSC Assessment. Since accreditation was awarded in 2015, the fishery has gone from strength to strength, as fish merchants continue to develop new markets for hake. Through the use of social media with chefs, restaurants and retailers throughout the UK, Alan continues to play an extremely active role in promoting MSC hake for the mutual benefit of other netters. His drive and dedication in using the communication platform of social media continues to promote greater awareness of the use of this fish in the UK, and adds to the benefits of the fishery gaining MSC status for being well-managed and sustainable.

Fishing into the Future – ‘Fisheries Resource Education Programme’

This forward-thinking programme that has high-level ambitions to modernise the industry, provides training for UK fishermen in fisheries science and management, and is designed to give them the knowledge, skills and confidence required to shape a sustainable future for the industry by demystifying the processes and language involved. The ‘FREP’ is completely unique, and sustainability is at the heart of the aims of the programme. The training workshops encourage a two-way dialogue and all who participate benefit: fishermen gain confidence, skills and knowledge about how their fisheries are measured and managed; the presenters reflect on their fields of expertise in terms of the real-world of fisheries.

Project UK Fisheries Improvements – Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

This ground-breaking project is a prime example of collaboration. By sharing resources and the financial burden of MSC certification, six UK fisheries selected by the UK supply chain – North Sea plaice, demersal trawl, beam trawl & seine; North Sea lemon sole, demersal trawl, beam trawl & seine; Channel scallops, dredge; Western & Channel monkfish, demersal trawl, beam trawl & trammel/tangle net; Southern crab, pots; Southwest lobster, pots – are being given the opportunity to obtain MSC certification, where previously it may have been out of the fisheries’ means. The project gives each fishery the tools to implement changes and to ensure their sustainable future.

Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAG) – North Sea Cod MSC accreditation

Having gained MSC certification for NS haddock (2010/2016) and saithe (2013), after being formed in 2008 to deliver these achievements, in 2016 the group took on the challenge of certifying North Sea cod against the new version 2.0 of the MSC certification standard. This was a bold move, both in terms of taking cod into the certification programme but also to use the new version of the MSC standard against which to measure its sustainability. The result was positive, with North Sea Cod being MSC-certified on 18 July, 2017. A successful outcome for such an iconic species, which required extensive collaboration within the SFSAG, advocates the responsible behaviours of everyone involved and provides exceptional market opportunities on a national scale.

West Herring Survey

The Western Herring Survey is a pioneering and collaborative international study involving pelagic fishermen and established scientists. This ground-breaking project was set up to address a shortfall in scientific knowledge. Identifying the different herring stock components within area 6a and 6aS/7bc, and their relative abundance, will lead to better decision-making on the sustainable management of the fishery. The results of the study are reported to ICES and over time will be sufficient to use in helping determine future stock assessments and catch advice, leading to informed decision-making that ensures the sustainability of the fishery.

As mentioned earlier, this category’s result will not be determined by public voting, but by a panel of judges drawn from the fishing industry, using all supporting evidence provided through the nomination process.

To see other category shortlists, click here

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