For more than a decade Sharkproject International has been presenting the only environmental awards in the world specifically focussed on sharks.

Alongside a positive award, the SharkGUARDIAN, there is also a negative award, the SharkENEMY of the year. The Sharkproject team nominates potential recipients and the winners are chosen by an international jury.

The award ceremony is traditionally held at the BOOT trade fair in Düsseldorf. In the case of the SharkENEMY award, the trophy usually has to be sent: the winners of this awarddo not tend to appear in person as the international interest and corresponding negative publicity is too great.


The idea of a “Positive Award” and a “Negative Award” was born in the spring of 2003 during a meeting of our executive committee. Over the years the concept was developed and shaped and we used our early forum to propose candidates for both awards.

We still had to find a name for the awards, so we ran a competition and that led to the creation of the Shark Guardian and the Shark Enemy! As this was not a one-off promotion but an ongoing feature, we also set up the parallel “Stop Finning” campaign, which gave a basic framework to the first set of awards.


An overview of the prize winners

Here is a list of the winners of each year’s awards to date. By clicking on each year you can also find the nominations for that year, including a detailed description of the circumstances leading to their nomination.
If you have a suggestion for further nominations in the coming years (either for the Guardian or Enemy awards) we would be delighted to hear from you.


SHARK GUARDIAN Leonardo DiCaprio, for the shining example of the donations of more than 10 million US dollars for sea conservation

SHARK ENEMY PROPEGAL SL, Vigo (Spain), for sprightly expediting the extinction of sharks in the ocean and for cynically trivializing this fact through seemingly innocent laxness


SHARK GUARDIAN-a special award for the life work of the diving pioneer, marine researcher and shark protector Prof. Hans Hass (1919-2013)
(a special exception to the regular award in 2014)


SHARK GUARDIAN Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, together with Sir Richard Branson, for improvements to effective shark protection in Costa Rica

SHARK ENEMY   Colin Barnett, Prime Minister of Western Australia, for calling for an official shark cull


SHARK GUARDIAN Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Republic of the Maldives, and the crew and guests of the Royal Evolution, an Egyptian safari boat

SHARK ENEMY   Marine Stewardship Council MSC


SHARK GUARDIAN Stefanie Brendl (Shark Allies),

SHARK ENEMY  John Scanlon, General Secretary of CITES.


SHARK GUARDIAN Hannes Jaenicke, actor and presenter

SHARK ENEMY   Mike Braynen, Director of the Department of Marine Resources/Bahamas
SHARK GUARDIAN Rob Stewart,Director of Sharkwater

SHARK ENEMY   Thomas Bruch, Managing Director of Globus Handelshof2008


SHARK GUARDIAN ex aequo an Dirk Steffens (animal filmmaker and presenter) and Achim Steiner, General Secretary of UNEP

SHARK ENEMY   Joan Clos, Spanish Minister for Industry, Tourism and Trade


SHARK GUARDIAN Ali Sodiq, Managing Director and owner of the souvenir shop “COLLECTION DHIVEHI”, Maldives

SHARK ENEMY Jack Ma, founder and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of


SHARK GUARDIAN The Egyptian Fisheries Ministry (the prize was accepted by representatives from the organisation HEPCA)

SHARK ENEMY Abel Pacheco, President of Costa Rica


SHARK GUARDIAN (Ehrenpreis) Andrew (Andy) Cobb for his life work

SHARK ENEMY Spain: in particular its representation on the EU Fisheries Commission


SHARK GUARDIAN The Republic of Palau

SHARK ENEMY   The Republic of the Maldives




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