FAO has awarded the Margarita Lizárraga Medal to the Honourable Dr Abraham Iyambo, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Namibia. Dr Iyambo is the first individual to receive the medal, while the previous five winners were organizations. He was selected in recognition of his distinguished leadership at the national, regional and international levels in relation to the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries through implementation of responsible fisheries science, policies and management as well as through substantive contribution to the negotiations leading to the Reykjavik Declaration on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem , to the establishment of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project (BCLME), the Benguela-Environment-Fisheries-Interaction and Training Programme (BENEFIT) and the South East Atlantic Fisheries Organization (SEAFO).
In 1997 the FAO Conference instituted the Margarita Lizárraga Medal to be awarded every two years to a person or organization that has served with distinction in the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The Medal pays tribute to Ms Margarita Lizárraga, Senior Fishery Liaison Officer, for her decisive role in promoting the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.