Maritime Affairs

European Commissioner Vella dedicates German Ocean Award

European Commissioner Vella dedicates German Ocean Award

European Commissioner Vella dedicates German Ocean Award


Karmenu Vella, the European Commission for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, donates prize money from receiving the prestigious German Ocean Award to Sustainable Ocean Alliance. Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), an international nonprofit that empowers young innovators to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of the ocean.

“I am delighted to dedicate this bursary to SOA to support the important work they are doing. Daniela Fernandez and her team are an inspiration. They are ‘generation ocean’ in action. Young ocean leaders finding and mobilizing young ocean doers, should be supported every step of the way,” says Karmenu Vella, European Commission for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The Commissioner received the 2018 German Ocean Award on November 5, 2018 from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel for his dedication to the protection and sustainable use of the oceans. Valued at € 10 000, the prize is awarded to well-known individuals from the fields of politics, business, science or the media who have demonstrated special commitments to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans.

“I am deeply grateful to Commissioner Vella for championing Sustainable Ocean Alliance and dedicating his award to the next generation of ocean leaders. It is because of visionaries like Commissioner Vella that young people have received the necessary mentorship, support and guidance to implement their ocean commitments around the world. The funds will be used to continue to empower SOA Youth Leaders and accelerate their ocean solutions ”, says Daniela V. Fernandez, Founder and CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance.

The European Union, University of Malta and SOA partnered to bring 100 young leaders to attend the 2017 Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit in Malta, hosted in conjunction with the annual Our Ocean Conference. With Commissioner Vella’s donation and ongoing support of SOA, he wants to give another impetus to the voice of youth in ocean advocacy. This year, SOA partnered with the government of Indonesia to host the 2018 Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit in Bali and looks forward working with the government of Norway and Palau, as the hosts of the Our Ocean Conference over the next two years.

About Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) is a global organization that advances the impact of start-ups, social enterprises and youth-centered initiatives that are developing solutions to protect and sustain our ocean. SOA’s pipeline of ocean leaders is cultivated through a chapter-based model, led by students at the high school and college levels, as well as by young professionals.Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) was founded by Daniela Fernandez in 2014 as a college-room idea. With phenomenal speed, SOA has created the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders - through establishing a presence in over 60 countries, launching the first-ever Ocean Solutions Accelerator to support ocean start-ups, and partnering with corporations such as The Economist and Lindblad Expeditions, NGOs, and governments, including Indonesia and the European Union, to develop technological solutions that can address the greatest threats facing our planet.