Perfectly timed with our recent focus on ecologically sustainable oceans and waterways, BLUE Marine Foundation in partnership with Boat International, have recently announced the award winners in their 3rd annual edition of ‘The Ocean Awards.’ And with equally convenient timing, BLUE Marine Foundation have agreed to join our expert panel discussion around the subject of cleaner oceans, which is confirmed for Tuesday 13th November at the I-nnovation Lab Stage during this year’s METSTRADE show.
BLUE / Boat International, selected Award winnersIn total, there were eight awards given to individuals in various categories, here are a few that stood out for us, although all of them were thoroughly deserving of the accolade.
The Science Award
Ben Halpern – Lead author of pioneering report on limits of Earth’s resources
Last year brought the publication of Planetary Boundaries for a Blue Planet, an epic report that was 15 years in the making. It was led by Dr. Ben Halpern, director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, an independent research affiliate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.Halpern trained as an ecologist and marine biologist and believes it’s possible to find solutions to managing and conserving nature only if you also understand people, and how they interact with it.
The Public Awareness Award
James Honeyborne, Mark Brownlow & team – Executive producer, series producer and team whose breathtaking series captures the plight of our oceans
Sixteen years after the original series, the BBC’s Natural History Unit, in partnership with the Open University, produced Blue Planet II, a seven-episode series presented by Sir David Attenborough and broadcast at prime-time on Sunday evenings.
The final episode examined the toll taken on the oceans by humanity through over-fishing (and discarded fishing gear), the careless trashing of plastics, especially those used just once, noise and light pollution. If we do not act, was its message, then the marine life you have marveled at will be gone.
The Visionary Award
Judi Wakhungu – joint winner – Kenyan politician who won her long battle to ban plastic bags
Last August, Kenya became the latest country in Africa to ban plastic bags. It was the culmination of a long campaign driven by Professor Judi Wakhungu, then cabinet secretary for environment, water and natural resources. Prior to the ban, an estimated 24 million bags were handed out each month across the nation (which has a population of 41 million), 86,000 a day in Nairobi alone.
The Visionary Award
Kristina Gjerde – joint winner – US lawyer breaking new ground in ocean governance
The currents that cause sargassum weed to aggregate in the Sargasso Sea have also caused it to become a gigantic gyre of plastic waste, endangering the unique species for
which it is a breeding ground.
This “wondrous place” is now the object of a campaign to protect its ecosystem. Thanks in part to the American lawyer Kristina Gjerde, who is adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, and senior high seas adviser to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Global Marine and Polar Programme.
For more information on the 2018 Ocean Awards and winners, check out Boat International.
BLUE Marine Foundation’s London to Monaco Cycle Ride 2018
For the third year running BLUE have organised a sponsored cycle ride from London to Monaco. It will leave London on 19th September and is timed to arrive in Monte Carlo on 25th as the annual Monaco Yacht Show kicks off. Sara-Jane Skinner BLUE’s Head of Partnerships told us,“L2M is now fully open and is shaping up to be the biggest and most successful ride to date with already 100 riders signed up, and 50 of them doing the whole 7-day ride…it’s really exciting! This year, we’ll be riding through 8 countries in 7 days! Lots more members of the super yacht industry are taking part, including a big team from Winch, MB92 and Gary Wight, Co-founder of Y.CO (who is doing the whole thing!)".
Over the last two years the ride has raised over £570,000 towards global ocean conservation projects, and now there is another opportunity for the leisure boating community to donate to a great cause, which will help to make the seas and waterways a better place for all of us. You can check out all the details for entry and / or sponsorship here.