This year's UN motto for World Ocean Day "The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods" is particularly well-chosen as it reminds us that our lives and livelihoods are inextricably connected to the ocean. Human extractions and destruction of nature on land and in the seas are identified by many scientists and ordinary citizens as one of the major reasons why we are afflicted by more viral diseases. This is in addition to the fossil fuel addiction of how powerful companies have organised their businesses and framed our heating, cooling and mobility. This messes up the climate and generates more extreme events, such as hurricanes, droughts, inundations and harvesting losses.

As we approach World Oceans Day 2021 and local events by Mundus maris and its partners in several countries, the pandemic is weighing in still very heavily on the lives of billions and thus also on active participation possibilities. We mourn together with the families and friends the many victims claimed by the virus. We are deeply concerned about the inequalities in access to vaccinations and other health care services, the disruption of schooling, studies, economic and cultural activities. The impacts have undone years of hard-won advances towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 adopted in 2015 by all members of the UN General Assembly.

We strongly believe that the unprecedented international cooperation across many fields of science that enabled the development of covid-vaccines in record time must be an inspiration for the sort of cooperation we need to develop for a new beginning. We appeal to governments to practice international solidarity in order to overcome the public health crisis, but also the climate and biodiversity crises and act against aggravated social injustice. Altogether we need to protect the ocean as our life support system, its ecosystems and maritime cultures. World Ocean Day, 8 June, is one day in the year, but the tasks are there to be picked up every single day of the year and reach out to others. When we harness collective actions for the ocean we safeguard our own futures. People of almost all age groups and from four continents have responded to our invitation. We are grateful to the international jury who will examine the submissions sent despite the difficult circumstances. All participants standing up for the ocean are showing their commitment. In this, there can only be winners.

Anna Balzarini (PhD)

Geologist from the University of Turin, Italy, with a specialisation in Environmental and Applied Geology; working in Belgium since 1992; expertise in science communication, environment sustainability and natural resources preservation.

Joann R. Glorioso (BSc)

Communications Officer at Q-quatics. For the past 3 decades, Joann has combined work experiences in research, training management and IEC. She currently handles public relations and communications as well as events coordination tasks for Q-quatics. These include management of the Q-quatics/FishBase Facebook, Twitter, Fish Forum, Guestbook and email accounts; dissemination and promotion of news and updates related and relevant to FishBase, SeaLifeBase and AquaMaps through social media channels, production of the Qq newsletter and contributions in the continuous development and updating of the Qq website.

Through the years, her appreciation and passion to protect the environment and the world’s oceans has grown stronger with every year that she has been following the amazing work of her world renowned superiors – Dr. Rainer Froese, Dr. Daniel Pauly, Dr. Deng Palomares and Dr Cornelia Nauen.

Olena Honcharova (PhD)

Prof., Kherson State Agrarian and Economic University Ukraine

Associate Professor, Deputy Dean for International Affairs, teaching, scientific, international activities at the Department of Aquatic Bioresources and Aquaculture.
Founder, head of the Scientific and Experimental Student Center "Aquatic Bioresources and Aquaculture" of the State Agrarian University of Ukraine, coordinator of the Ukraine-France exchange cooperation.
Coordinator of scientific and practical cooperation of innovative implementations in the agricultural sector, environmentally friendly products, development of academic mobility on the basis of the memorandum of the exchange program Ukraine-France.

Axel Klein (PhD)

A social anthropologist by training, I did my field work in a fishing village on the Lagos - Badagry Seabeach / lagoon in Nigeria many years ago. It gave me an opportunity to witness the conflict and collaboration between artisanal and industrial fisheries, the web of connections between fish processors, transporters, sellers and, of course, consumers. Many years on, I have the privilege to work in an EU funded project at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to support West Africa Integrated Maritime Security  (SWAIMS). My objective is to purse an inclusive and holistic approach based on the conviction that there can be no maritime development without security for all stakeholders and vice versa.


Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood (PhD)

She is a lecturer at the School of Geography & Sustainable Development (St Andrews University, Scotland), a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Research and Studies, National Defence College, Abuja, Nigeria, and an associate of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy, UK. Dr Okafor-Yarwood was a contributing author to the report on Organized Crime in the Fisheries Sector commissioned by the High-Level Ocean Panel. Her work advances the understanding of sustainability as a question of resource management, environmental justice, and the disproportionate effects of depleting marine resources on maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea. She has extensive experience in field research with strategic maritime stakeholders and communities in West and Central Africa.

Nicola Ronci

Founder and director of the European Academy of Manga® and director of the Euromanga® Edizioni publishing house. In the Academy he is responsible for the foundation course "Theory of Perception" in the three-year academic programme and teaches Aikido during the "Manga Summer School®" summer courses. For Euromanga® Edizioni he takes care of the editions of the Tecnica Manga series and works as editor and screenwriter for various authors. In the editorial field he has collaborated on the editions of the educational titles of Budobooks by Francesco Dessì and the publication of the book by Paolo Bottoni "50 years of Aikido in Italy". Since 2020 he has been a member of the Accademia dei Riuniti of the city of Volterra. He is part of the jury of the Lucca Mangaka Contest and the Volterra Fantasy Film Festival.


Stefanie Sudhaus (MSc)

is a marine biologist and works as consultant for marine protection at Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) Schleswig-Holstein. Her main focus lies on topics like marine litter and aquaculture, but she works as well on other current marine protection issues at the political and social level. She is also responsible for and experienced in project management and project administration of local but also of international EU-projects.

Since 2019 she`s part of the Ocean Summit team, a flagship-project which aims to connect all players on a regional level involved with marine topics: politicians, scientists, business and industry, artists, pupils, students and start ups as well as the interested public. The Ocean Summit as a networking platform offers a wide variety of formats for environmental education, discussion and exchange aiming in finding solutions together.

Before her employment at BUND she worked as a marine scientist at GEOMAR – Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in a German-Israeli project on climate change.


Claudia Wosnitza Mendo (PhD)

She is a German Scientist working since 1978 with the Peruvian Marine Institute (IMARPE). During the last years before retirement she was an advisor to the Scientific Director of IMARPE. Her main field of investigation is related to fisheries issues, introducing fish population dynamics courses in the curricula of various Peruvian universities and doing research for sustainability and fisheries management. Ultimately, she also entered the field of Climate Change impact on fisheries.

Among others, she collaborated for some years (2005-2008) with INCOFISH, an international research collaboration, a Star Project sponsored by European Union, and more recently published a reconstruction of Peru's real fisheries catches.


Prisca Zro Zo (Ing.)

She is a software engineer with experience in marketing.
Since 2019, Prisca is the IT Expert-CRESMAO-SWAIMS Daily Bulletin
Support to West Africa Integrated Maritime Security- SWAIMS – Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

The CRESMAO (Regional Center for Maritime Security of West Africa), based in Abidjan, is one of the two regional centers for maritime security defined by the architecture of Yaoundé; it is under the authority of ECOWAS (Economic Commission of West African States).
In this context, she gathers daily maritime and port security and maritime law enforcement related information from different sources available on the Internet or through other media
Other responsibilities include to continuously train CRESMAO national and regional staff to produce the Alert Bulletin, and to assist the private sector and civil society expert in the team on IT related matters.


Maria del Carmen Patricia Morales (PhD)

Mundus maris Vice-President supporting the jury work for the Awards 2021