December 2015 - Stop Illegal Fishing are delighted to announce that they have been awarded the 2014-2015 Margarita Lizárraga Medal, awarded biennially by the FAO, the award recognizes those who have served with distinction in the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
Describing SIF’s achievements as ‘outstanding, practical, tangible and sustainable as well as catalytic.' Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the FAO commented that 'SIF was selected in recognition of an excellent African example of what can be achieved to stop IUU fishing by demonstrating that a lot can be accomplished with relatively small resources through good networking, the sharing of information, regional and international cooperation, and a strong commitment to stop IUU fishing.’
Speaking at the award ceremony Per Erik Bergh of SIF, acknowledged that importance of the recognition offered by the Margarita Lizárraga Medal and the FAO ‘as an independent Not for Profit organization we rely on the goodwill, dedication and support of many individuals and organizations who are working to tackle illegal fishing. SIF has created a network that provides both practical support and a sense of common purpose. We achieve change through supporting the institutions and countries most affected by illegal fishing, by challenging entrenched approaches and offering simple scalable solutions to ongoing challenges.
Illegal exploitation of fisheries resources and illegal trade and processing of fish are root causes of poverty and malnutrition in developing countries. Stop Illegal fishing works with governments and local communities to create awareness and implementation of sustainable fisheries and we empower communities to stand strong against illegal fishing.
The last decade, has taught us a lot, and the wins are coming now. We see a difference, those behind the devastation of large-scale illegal fishing operations are suffering, and the risk of getting caught is getting bigger.
We would like to dedicate this award to Geofrey Nanyaro, our founding Chairperson who sadly he passed away earlier this year. Geofrey embodied the qualities that make SIF a success. He was an inspirational man of great integrity who was prepared to stand up for fairness and justice.’