2010 – Ken Sherman

In 2010 the award was divided equally between Ken Sherman from the U.S.A. and Randall Arauz from Costa Rica.

Dr. Ken (Kenneth) Sherman has a background as an adjunct professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in the U.S.A. He has worked as the director of the Narragansett Laboratory and the Office of Marine Ecosystems Studies in NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), and he set up the MARMAP program of (Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction) surveys which provides essential information for scientists trying to understand marine food webs.

In the 1980s, Dr. Sherman, together with others, pioneered the concept of large marine ecosystems (LMEs). Sherman and his colleagues recognized that large areas of the oceans function as ecosystems and that pollution, unsustainable fishing practices, habitat degradation, toxic pollution, aerosol contamination and over-exploitation of living resources, along with natural factors, influenced the varying productivity of these ecosystems. Against this background is a growing recognition among world leaders that positive actions are required on the part of governments and civil society to redress global environmental and resource degradation with actions to recover depleted fish populations, restore degraded habitats and reduce coastal pollution.

Sherman’s work has generated a great deal of attention, in the U.S. and worldwide. He received the Gold Medal award from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) for international leadership in developing and using an interdisciplinary approach defining a worldwide network of Large Marine Ecosystems. Ken has established himself as a global diplomat for NOAA and an active advocate for marine ecosystems research and assessment through more than 40 years of government service.

Jury's motivation

Oceans are essential to existence of all life on Earth, and yet perhaps mankind’s most ruthless exploitation is taking place in the seas through overfishing, pollution and other environmental impact that damages biological diversity and the very basis for life both underwater and for humans on land.

For this reason The Göteborg Award for Sustainable Development in 2010 goes to two prominent persons who have in different ways strongly contributed to solutions for sustainable relations with our oceans.

The prize, one million Swedish crowns, will be divided equally between Ken Sherman from the U.S.A. and Randal Arauz from Costa Rica.