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The Seacology Prize


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. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 prize ceremony will be held online.

2021 recipient: Saw John Aung Thong

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. Here are a few recent recipients:

Patricia Lamelas has devoted her life to conservation in the rapidly changing Dominican Republic. She has worked to find sustainable livelihoods for people who relied on cutting mangroves to make charcoal and helped to educate a generation about the importance of the unique coastal environment.

Lakshmi Moorthy of India 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 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.