Remembering a Champion of Marine Conservation
With great sadness, we learned last week of the unexpected passing of Ali Shaibu Shekue, our 2014 Seacology Prize winner. Shekue, widely known as “the Professor,” was instrumental in developing Kenya’s marine reserves and promoting sustainable practices among that nation’s artisanal fishing community. He was a beloved and respected community leader, colleague, grandfather, and friend. We are honored to have met him and proud to have shared in his work.
“Professor Shaibu will be greatly missed not only by his friends, but also communities that he tirelessly worked to empower, colleagues that greatly benefited from his vast knowledge and wisdom on conservation and working with communities,” said Dishon Murage, Seacology’s field representative for Kenya, and a friend and associate of the Professor for more than 15 years.
Shekue was awarded the Seacology Prize last year in recognition of more than a decade of work with countless fishermen along Kenya’s coasts. His efforts led to the creation of the country’s first community-managed marine reserve and many others following that. He was also active in the successful implementation of several Seacology projects, most recently on Pate and Wasini islands.
See our video profile of Shekue and his Seacology Prize acceptance speech.
Those of us who had the privilege of meeting and working with the Professor will miss him greatly and will always remember his dedication, kindness, and humility. Our condolences to all of those whose lives he touched in Kenya and beyond.