Conservation award for founder of Islington’s Blue Ventures charity

Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award - Credit: Archant

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Dr Alasdair Harris, the founder of Blue Ventures, based in North Road, Holloway, was presented with the award by Prince Philip at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

The award highlights the efforts the winners are making to support local communities in rebuilding fish populations, which have fallen by 50 per cent globally over the last 40 years, and restore marine habitat, like coral reefs, through community-based conservation.

Dr Alasdair Harris has worked in collaboration with coastal communities, government partners and NGOs to demonstrate the importance of coastal and marine conservation for food security and livelihoods. According to the conservation agency World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), his strategies to rebuild tropical fisheries through supporting the creation of locally managed marine areas have brought tangible benefits to many communities, particularly in Madagascar and Belize. These strategies are now being replicated across other areas of the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Dr Harris said: “For the hundreds of millions of people who depend on life in our tropical seas for food and income, sustainable fisheries are a matter of survival.

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“This award recognises the growing grassroots movement working to mobilise communities throughout the tropics to protect our seas by demonstrating that marine conservation makes compelling economic sense.”

The Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award was created in 1970 and is presented annually by WWF for outstanding service to the environment.

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