Stand Out For Environment Restoration (SOFER) Initiative, a non-governmental organisation with the aim of raising environmental awareness by working with young people, providing practical ways to change behaviors for the better, based in Nigeria, after an impressive round of submissions were awarded the winners of the award alongside the UK’s International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF) and received a grant to contribute to their ghost gear project – ‘Fishing Net Gains Nigeria’ . The project which works to engage local fishing communities on best practices for reducing ghost gear through prevention, mitigation and cure will directly involve fishers in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.
This award is in honour of Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) co-founder, United Nations worker, and former World Animal Protection campaigner, Joanna (Jo) Toole, 36, whose life was tragically taken in the Ethiopian airlines crash in March 2019. A woman that dedicated her professional life to ensuring our oceans were better and a safer place for marine wildlife.
Entries for the awards were reviewed by Ghost Gear experts from World Animal Protection and GGGI. The Joanna Toole Annual Ghost Gear Solutions Award is made possible by support from Joanna Toole Foundation, World Animal Protection, Ocean Conservancy, Ocean Foundation, SeaWeb and Jo’s friends, family members and colleagues.
SOFER Initiative is proud to be associated with Joanna Toole Foundation and appreciates the opportunity to continue preserving her legacies through this award.