The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project has been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Improving the Image of Yachting Award at this year’s International Superyacht Society (ISS) Design and Leadership Awards. 

The Award Gala, held on 26 October at the Ritz Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, provided a distinguished platform for industry leaders to celebrate and honour the outstanding achievements of the 2023 award recipients across the different categories.

Founded in 1989, the ISS represents the yachting industry worldwide, and the eminent Design and Leadership Awards were created the following year to call attention to the achievements in the yachting industry.

The Excellence in Improving the Image of Yachting Award recognises Seabed 2030’s role in enabling yacht owners to contribute directly to the gathering of essential new knowledge about the ocean, in addition to its role fostering marine conservation and promoting responsible exploration.

Dr Brian Calder of the Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire accepted the award on behalf of Seabed 2030. As the lead designer of the next generation of crowd-sourced bathymetry data loggers, Dr Calder has supported the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) Crowdsourced Bathymetry Initiative since its inception, which is pivotal to Seabed 2030’s success in delivering the GEBCO map.

Accepting the award, Dr Calder said: “On behalf of Seabed 2030 and our parent organisations – The Nippon Foundation, GEBCO, IHO and IOC – thank you for this award. It’s an honour to be selected, and we’d like to think of this as recognition of the power of partnerships in mapping our ocean world.

“Because without partnerships, without people actually on the water, people like you in the yachting world, it’s going to be a hard haul to get to the 75% of the world ocean that still needs modern mapping. So we’re committed to empowering everyone who wants to demonstrate their passion for our ocean by contributing data.”

Seabed 2030 Project Director Jamie McMichael-Phillips said: “It is an absolute honour to receive this award, which is a testament to the unwavering dedication and collaborative efforts of the international community in support of our global endeavour.

“We’re grateful to the International Superyacht Society for this recognition, and also to the yachting industry and the marine community who make our ambitious mission possible. It’s thanks to our growing network of partners, including the esteemed International SeaKeepers Society, that a sustainable future – for the ocean and planet – is within reach.”

Dr Brian Calder accepts the award on behalf of Seabed 2030
Paris Baloumis​, Group Marketing Director at Oceanco (left) with Dr Brian Calder