A LEADING representative in Scotland’s fishing industry has today (Mon 2 May) been recognised internationally for his contribution to conservation at a special ceremony in St. Gallen, Switzerland. 
Says a spokesperson from WWF Scotland: “Mike Park, chief executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA), has been awarded the prestigious WWF conservation merit prize for his leadership and efforts in improving conservation measures in the Scottish white fish fisheries and his work in encouraging sustainable fishing practices in Scotland and beyond. 
“Mike also played a significant role in the setting up of the Scottish Conservation Credit Scheme Steering Group.
“This innovative group brings together representatives of the Scottish Government, fishing industry, scientists and NGOs to seek the best adapted solutions to help rebuild cod and other associated fish stocks.
“The WWF Award for Conservation Merit is given in recognition of demonstrated commitment to local, grass-roots conservation.”
Commenting on this award, WWF Scotland director, Dr Richard Dixon, said:
“We’re delighted that Mike Park has been selected to receive this conservation merit award for his vision and understanding of the inextricable link between healthy marine ecosystems and stable fish stocks and for acting on this vision in Scotland and beyond.
“Much progress has been achieved in improving the management of cod fisheries here in recent years and Mike and his association have played a significant role in helping achieve this.
“We look forward to working with Mike, and other like-minded partners, in the forthcoming reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, pressing for local management as a way of delivering sustainable fisheries and sustainable fishing communities.”
Mike Park, chief executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA), said:
“It is a very special honour and privilege to receive an award that gives so much recognition to the very special work and change taking place in Scottish fisheries.
“It is significant that my members now recognise that the health of the stocks is the real barometer of a fisher’s wealth.
“I very much hope that the Common Fisheries Policy reform, and the onset of regional management and decentralisation, provides the necessary platform to expand our work further.
“It is my extreme pleasure to accept this award on behalf of an industry that is contributing so much to the changing face of Europe’s fisheries.”
Yolanda Kakbadse, WWF international president, said:
“The world’s fisheries will be saved when fishers, fishing communities and businesses and environmentalists realise sustainable fisheries serve all our interests.
“It is my great pleasure to recognise Mike Park, a leading Scottish fisheries industry figure, with The WWF Award for Conservation Merit for his recognition and constant promotion of the truth that we are all in the same boat on fisheries.”
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Contact: Mandy Carter
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