Per Erik Bergh has been awarded The Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (Knight First Class) in recognition of his outstanding service in the interests of Norway.

On presenting the award Her Excellency, Ambassador Trine Skymoen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, Botswana and Madagascar emphasized Per Erik’s longstanding contributions as the Honorary Norwegian Consul General to Botswana. The Royal Order of Merit, founded by H.M. King Olav V in 1985, is awarded to foreigners, Norwegian citizens living overseas and members of the Norwegian or foreign diplomatic services for outstanding service in the interests of Norway.

The Ambassador also underlined Per Erik’s key role in the field of IUU fishing and fisheries crime, in particular through the establishment of the not for profit organisation Stop Illegal Fishing and the FISH-i Africa Task Force.

“Norway as a fishing nation recognizes the importance of sustainable and well managed fisheries worldwide. We have long assisted developing countries tackle the complex practical challenges involved in deterring and preventing illegal fishing. Stop Illegal Fishing has provided an innovative approach as well as real hands on support and advice where it is needed most.  The huge contribution of Per Erik and his colleagues to fighting IUU is recognized and valued by Norway.”

Stop Illegal Fishing have earned recognition internationally for the role they play working with African governments through initiatives such as the FISH-i Africa Task Force and the West Africa Task Force where regional cooperation and information sharing are proving to be an effective means of increasing compliance in the fishery sector.