Media group Boat International recently held the inaugural Ocean Awards, in partnership with leading marine charity, Blue Marine Foundation.
The Ocean Awards were created to celebrate conservation champions who have made outstanding contributions to the health of the world’s oceans.
American singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams, won the ‘Personality’ category recognising his work to promote awareness of our ocean crisis. He was celebrated for his role as creative director of Bionic Yarn, which uses fibres recycled from plastics removed from the ocean to make clothing.
Oliver Letwin, MP scooped the award for the ‘Visionary’ category, acknowledging his achievement in the proposed creation of a new marine protected area around Pitcairn in the southern Pacific Ocean.
This was followed in the 2015 Conservative Party manifesto by a promise to safeguard precious marine habitats by creating a ‘Blue Marine Belt’ around all 14 of the UK’s Overseas Territories, and complete the network of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK’s coast.
Each category was judged by an expert panel, which included Sir Charles Dunstone, chef and television personality, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (pictured left) and financier Ben Goldsmith.
Retail giant, M&S netted the trophy for the retailer that has done most through corporate policy and public engagement to address ocean issues over the past year.
The supermarket’s ‘Forever Fish’ campaign spanned educating primary school pupils about sustainable sourcing, funding WWF marine projects, launching beach clear-ups and marketing less traditionally popular species of fish such as dab and flounder.
Selfridges also received a nod of approval for their ‘Project Ocean’ initiative, which removed single-use plastic bottles from its food halls and restaurants earlier last year.