Honored For Work to Eliminate Drift Nets
January 29, 2018. Theresa Labriola, Director of Pacific Programs for Wild Oceans, was honored with the International Game Fish Association’s 2018 Conservation Award Saturday night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. IGFA Conservation Awards are given annually to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to fresh and saltwater fishing conservation.
“Your efforts to remove drift gill nets from California waters and your coalition building work in the recreational and environmental communities make you most worthy of this prestigious award,” Nehl Horton, IGFA President, told Theresa.
“As someone who has spent a lifetime on the water with my family – rod in hand – I am honored to receive the IGFA Conservation Award,” said Theresa. “I accept it on behalf of those who dare to dream about wilder oceans and work together to realize this dream.”
Get to know Theresa on our I Am Wild Oceans page.
Wild Oceans is at the forefront of efforts to replace mile-long drift gill nets in the west coast swordfish fishery with low-bycatch alternatives, such as deep-set buoy gear, to reduce bycatch of finfish and avoid interaction with marine mammals, sea turtles, and other vulnerable species.
“This award acknowledges not only my work with Wild Oceans to remove indiscriminate fishing gear from the Pacific Ocean, but the decades-long fight that has brought together diverse parties, from sport fishermen to environmentalists to turtle conservationists,” says Theresa. “Despite the varying agendas, we share a common goal to build a healthy, thriving ocean ecosystem.
“I hope my work proves that cooperation is our best strategy towards achieving this goal. Together we must be willing to step-up and step-out, to collaborate and innovate, and to mobilize our resources and rally our constituents.”
“Innovative thinking and collaboration have always been hallmarks of our work and Theresa represents that so well,” says Ken Hinman, president of Wild Oceans, which in 2018 is celebrating its 45th anniversary.