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Sustainability Awards for Comm. Borg, Minister Iyambo

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SWEDEN - Commissioner Borg has been nominated for the Swedish Seafood Award for his work on sustainable fisheries. Namibian Fisheries and Natural Resources Minister, Dr Abraham Iyambo, is to receive the 2009 Kungsfenan award in the sustainable fishing category.

Joe Borg, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, was nominated to receive the Kungsfenan Swedish Seafood Award yesterday. This prize is awarded every year in recognition of important achievements in sustainable fisheries and gastronomy. Mr Borg will receive the prize for his vital work, over the past five years, to put EU fisheries on a sustainable footing.

Commissioner Borg said: "I am extremely honoured to have been nominated for this prestigious award. Placing sustainability at the heart of our approach to fisheries in order to guarantee a viable future for our fishermen and the marine resources they harvest is essential.

"I am pleased to say that we have already made considerable headway in this endeavour but there remains much to be done. We are fortunate enough to have the tools in place to help us do this, be it through the Integrated Maritime Policy which focuses on the further sustainable economic development of our seas and coastal regions, or the Common Fisheries Policy, a reform process for which was launched earlier this year. Under the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, we will be looking to ensure that an ecosystem approach forms the basis of our policy-making whereby Europe's fishing capacity is brought in line with the long-term sustainable exploitation of fishing resources."

The Kungsfenan, first awarded in 2002, may be conferred on individuals, organisations or institutions in two categories, namely sustainable fisheries and maritime gastronomy. There is also a special prize for innovation. The award's immediate aim lies in promoting trade and the fisheries, food and restaurant industries. To that end, it seeks to highlight both: efforts which indicate a belief in the future and initiatives to increase knowledge of the sea and lakes as a source of food. The longer-term aims of the award are to bring about a consensus on food safety and the enjoyment of food, and also, to raise the profile of vocations such as fishing, fish farming, food production and catering.

With respect to Commissioner Borg, the board has praised Dr Borg for being able to "handle short term interests in relation to more long term ones with great personal integrity" and have characterised his work as having " enormous potential to create a trustworthy, sustainable fishing policy".

Alongside Commissioner Borg, the Namibian Fisheries and Natural Resources Minister, Dr Abraham Iyambo, is to receive the 2009 Kungsfenan award in the sustainable fishing category for his work in developing the sustainable administration of Namibia's fishing resources.

The Award ceremony will take place at the Göteborg Opera on 11 February 2010. The Commissioner will be donating his share of the prize money, 100,000 Swedish Kronor (around €10,000), to an international charity.

Commissioner Borg's nomination for the Kungsfenan award comes just a month after he received the Elisabeth Mann Borgese award from the government of Schleswig-Holstein for his efforts to contribute to the creation of an Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU.

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