Each year, we award the Seacology Prize to an islander for exceptional achievement in preserving island environments and culture. This honor comes with an award of $10,000 and a trip to the United States for a public award ceremony in October.
The first Seacology Prize went to Chief Ulu of Samoa, in the South Pacific. To protect his village’s ancestral rainforest, the chief resisted years of pressure from logging companies.
Since then, Seacology has honored dozens more determined and inspiring men and women from around the world. Every one of them has faced resistance, taken risks, and made personal sacrifices. Some have faced grave personal danger–but persisted to protect the islands they call home. Just a few recipients in recent years:
Patricia Lamelas, who has devoted her life to conservation in the rapidly changing Dominican Republic. An advocate for mangrove forests, she has worked with local communities, where many people relied on cutting mangroves for charcoal, to find sustainable livelihoods. She has helped to educate a generation about the importance of protecting the unique local environment.
Lakshmi Moorthy of India, who has worked as a seaweed harvester since childhood, like many of the women of her community. She helped lead the seaweed gatherers to secure rights from the Indian government and to manage the resource in a sustainable way.
The late Ali Shaibu Shekue, who was recognized throughout Kenya for his knowledge and skill pertaining to artisanal fisheries. He mobilized communities and helped to create the region’s first community-managed marine protected area.
The Seacology Prize is underwritten by Seacology’s President Ken Murdock, in honor of his mother, Lalovi Fish Murdock.