My Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy / by Francisco Blaha

I been really honoured to receive the SeaWeb Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy here at the Seafood Summit in Bangkok. And it has been really nice! 

obviously someone did a big mistake here :-)

obviously someone did a big mistake here :-)

For those that asked, Is a fiscally neutral award! No superpowers attached (to the disappointment of my daughter) but if just only meant that for a couple of hours everyone around here was very nice to me, told me they appreciated that I’m genuine and independent, that they like my blog & pictures, that they are looking at MIMRA's and the other places I work with lots of interest, as well as on the social side of fishing via my FAO work, and not less importantly the sharing of lots of drinks and food... that is way more than enough!

Being self employed, my work depends on being trusted with jobs and for that I have to seriously thank sooo many people over the last 34 years… from industry and fisheries institutes to NGOs and to big and amazing organisations like FFA, NZ MFAT and FAO for their support! 

I been really fortunate to be able to move in between industry, NGOs and regulators with ease… and be trusted while on deck with the crew, on the bridge with the officers, on the factory floor with the cutters, in the QC office with the food safety people l, on the operations rooms with the VMS and intelligence guys, and on the boardroom with the bosses… and I made a point of not taking my acceptance in any of those places for granted, ever.

With all the problems that fisheries has (and that many people are working really hard to fix), it also allowed a dyslexic mongrel race kid like me (with a bit of an disrespect for authority issue) to move across cultures and oceans from the deck of fishing and research vessels in the South Atlantic to to then been given this award for my work mostly in the pacific but also Asia and Africa… while not being part of any corporation or group of anything… just being me.

I don't think many other primary industries would cater for that… and that is the reason I love fishing, because it allowed me to be me… just simply as that… and I really want to make sure other misfits like me have the same or at least similar chances than I had

So my biggest thank you to the organisers of this event, but in particular, to the thousands that helped and trusted me all over the world since the first time I floated (in the late 70s) to today, your support and help are not taken for granted, and I’ll do my best to keep earning it.