A committee aimed at protecting the Sargasso Sea backed by the Bermuda Government has won a top international conservation award.

The five-strong executive committee of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, which includes Ministry of Environment and Planning permanent secretary Dr Derrick Binns, has won the International Seakeepers Society Seakeeper award for 2013.

It is the first time the annual honour has been given to more than one person.

Previous winners include former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev, actor Ted Danson and famous underwater explorer Dr Sylvia Earle.

Honour

Minister of the Environment and Planning Sylvan Richards said: “The Government of Bermuda is absolutely thrilled that its work with the Sargasso Sea Alliance to establish a model for the protection of the high seas has been recognised by the Seakeepers Society.

“This honour, together with the recent award of a Darwin Plus Grant by the UK government to study lionfish control mechanisms, to be conducted by Dr Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences (BIOS) in conjunction with the lionfish task force, is reflective of the tremendous benefit to be gained through collaboration with others for the protection of our marine environment.”

The award will be presented in San Francisco in September, during the Americas Cup races.