October 7, 2016 — U.S. President Barack Obama has announced his choices to be the first ever “Champions of Change for Sustainable Seafood.”
The special awards, established this year as a way to “honor America’s fishers and our coastal communities for their efforts… [in leading] the way to the United States becoming a global leader in sustainable seafood management,” will be handed out on Friday, 7 October at a special ceremony at the White House in Washington D.C.
The awardees are:
- Robin Alden, the founding Executive Director of Penobscot East Resource Center, Maine’s center for coastal fisheries in Stonington, Maine. She led a path-breaking effort to bring shared management to Maine’s lobster fishery, now recognized internationally as a model for sustainable fisheries. Robin is the former Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, responsible for Maine‘s marine and anadromous fishery management and enforcement and for aquaculture in the state. She was also the publisher and editor of both Commercial Fisheries News and Fish Farming News and a public member of the New England Fishery Management Council.
- Linda Behnken, the Executive Director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, which represents longline fishermen in securing sustainable access to healthy halibut, sablefish and rockfish stocks. Linda was a commercial fisherman for 34 years and served on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. During that time, she also served as an industry advisor to the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, the National Academy of Science Individual Fishing Quota Review Panel, and co-chaired the Council’s Essential Fish Habitat committee. Linda participated in the last two re-authorizations of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and was an active advocate for the Sustainable Fisheries Act amendments. She is also a founding member of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, which is a cutting-edge financing tool to help new and young break into Alaska’s fisheries and connect communities with their natural resources.