Peter Hammarstedt discusses illegal fishing and security at panel in London

Thursday, 27 Jul, 2017

Captain Peter Hammarstedt was invited to speak on a panel about illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and broader criminality at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) in London on July 18th.

Panel on IUU Fishing and International Security at RUSI, London. Watch full video below.

The panel coincided with the release of the Occasional Paper about IUU fishing and security threats, Below the Surface: How Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Threatens Our Security by RUSI Research Fellow Cathy Haenlein. This in-depth discussion illustrates how Sea Shepherd's Africa campaigns such as Operation Albacore and Operation Sola Stella are not only important for the health of our oceans, but also for addressing issues of human rights, trafficking, and organized crime on the high seas.

"Operating out of sight, and largely out of reach of the public and law enforcement alike, organised, high-volume illegal fishing can involve a range of violent and destructive criminal practices. In particular illegal fishing offences are known to intersect with other criminal activities, ranging from human and drug trafficking to corruption and money laundering," the paper concluded.

"However, illegal fishing is often treated by governments as the result of technical regulatory infringements and designated a matter for industry regulators. Notably, it is often dismissed as a trivial issue insofar as it relates to national security."

The panel, chaired by Commander Tony Long RN (Ret'd), Director of the End Illegal Fishing Project for Pew Charitable Trust, included:

- Cathy Haenlein, Research Fellow in Serious and Organised Crime, RUSI
- Steve Trent, Executive Director, Environmental Justice Foundation
- Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Director of Campaigns, Sea Shepherd Global
- Elsa da Gloria Patria, Chair, Stop Illegal Fishing
- Lt Stephen Roberts RN, Future Operations TAA, EU Naval Force Somalia

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent think tank engaged in cutting edge defence and security research. A unique institution, founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters.

"This Occasional Paper calls for a paradigm shift in the way we view and respond to high-volume IUU fishing. To address the sophisticated and transnational threat it poses, large-scale IUU fishing must be treated with the seriousness it is due."

RUSI Research Fellow Cathy Haenlein

Watch the full panel discussion (44 minutes) in the video below: 

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