MANILA, The Philippines -- The Shark Research Institute (SRI) presented two awards to outstanding marine conservationists in Manila, Philippines.
Underwater photographer Michael Aw was awarded the prestigious 2008 Peter Benchley Shark Conservation Award by SRI president Stan Waterman. The award, sponsored by Rolex, honors the memory of the late Peter Benchley, a staunch advocate for protection of sharks. Each year the awards spotlight individuals working internationally for shark conservation. Michael Aw, director of Ocean Geographic, has been conducting a highly-effective and unrelenting campaign against shark finning in the Asia Pacific region.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, president of the Philippine Republic and a world-leader in protecting the ocean environment, received the award in recognition of her decades of efforts to protect sharks and the ocean ecosystem as the foundation for a stable, productive and sustainable society. President Arroyo, who recently designated the whale shark as the icon for marine conservation, has made unprecedented strides to protect unique marine resources throughout South Asia’s Coral Triangle. An avid diver for 30 years, she created and expanded marine parks throughout her island nation of 90 million people, funded marine conservation projects, and hosted marine conservation symposiums in the Asia Pacific region.
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