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EAF-Nansen Programme

R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen Awarded Prestigious FAO Medal


The research vessel (R/V) Dr Fridtjof Nansen has been awarded the Margarita Lizárraga Medal in recognition of its immense contribution towards the “application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries” at the 41st Session of the FAO Conference currently underway in Rome, Italy. Specifically, the R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen was recognised for making “an outstanding, practical hands-on contribution to the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries; and for sustaining a tangible output, which has the potential for a snowball or catalytic effect”.

The Medal pays tribute to the late Dr. Margarita Saucedo Lizárraga, who worked as Senior Fishery Liaison Officer in FAO for almost forty years, and played a decisive role in promoting the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Dr. Lizárraga is also recognized for her productive work in the field of fisheries, for her great dedication to FAO and for her strong commitment towards fostering the promotion of the fisheries sector, especially in developing countries. The biennial medal was instituted in 1997 at the 29th Session of the FAO conference.

The FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries was adopted at the 1995 FAO conference as a guide for promoting long-term conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources, following a call from the 1992 International Conference on Responsible Fishing to strengthen the international legal framework for a more effective conservation, management and sustainable exploitation and production of living aquatic resources.

The R/V Dr Fridtjof Nansen is an advanced fishery and oceanographic research vessel owned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). It is manned by a Norwegian crew and a core group of scientists from the Institute of Marine Research in Norway who work together with scientists from partner countries, and hence, a unique platform for capacity development and regional collaboration.  Launched in 1974, the vessel has continuously sailed the oceans assisting developing countries understand and assess their fishery resources. This knowledge is essential in contributing to decisions made by these countries towards sustainable fisheries management. The Dr Fridtjof Nansen flies the flag of the United Nations for neutrality. The current vessel is the third one commissioned under this name, with each of the previous two decommissioned after providing several years of meritorious service. Overall, more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America have been covered by surveys of the vessel.

The Dr Fridtjof Nansen is the core of the Nansen Programme – a collaboration among FAO, Norad, and the Institute of Marine Research in Norway. This unique programme has been working to meet the challenges of a changing marine environment for a sustainable use of the oceans over these four decades. While maintaining its core objective of supporting developing countries in understanding their fisheries resources, the focus of the Programme has changed over the years in response to changing needs and paradigms.

Currently, the EAF-Nansen Programme is supporting the application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management considering climate and pollution impacts.

H.E. Inge Nordang, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway to FAO, IFAD and WFP, received the award.