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The human rights dimensions of oceans crimes and its impact on small scale fishers

When? 5pm CEST, Monday 20 June 2022

Where? Register to join this class on Zoom using this link –

Ocean’s crimes, including illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing directly impact on the sustainable use of the ocean, and are a barrier to the achievement of the sustainable development goals in particular SDG 14. It contributes to overfishing, threatening food security and livelihoods. Ocean crimes such as human trafficking and slavery in fisheries also have direct consequences for the achievement of a range of human rights. At the same time efforts to tackle the crimes can result in human rights violations against vulnerable groups such as small-scale fishers and their communities.   

The panel aims to explore the human rights, equity and justice dimensions of ocean crimes and its impacts on small scale fishers. The panel presents the perspectives of researchers, on the conceptualisation of oceans crimes, its consequences for small scale fisheries, the remit of possible human rights implications within the larger context of blue justice. Adopting a case study approach, the panel starts with an examination of the ideas of blue growth and its possible consequences for coastal communities, the social justice implications of rapid and unchecked ocean development, its impacts on  livelihoods of small-scale fishers and the human rights consequences of these developments in particular as it relates to ocean defenders; who defend and protect the marine and coastal environment and the human rights of coastal populations against existential threats including oceans crimes.  This will be followed by an examination of the effects of recreational fisheries crime on the integrity of small-scale fisher development and the inequities between affluent fishers and poorer subsistence fishers in relation to efforts targeted at tackling recreational fisheries crimes. Adopting South Africa as a case study it examines the consequences of recreational fisheries crimes on other ocean users such as subsistence small scale fishers. The panel will also examine the impacts of oceans crimes on the countries of the Caribbean in particular CARICOM and the OECS countries. It examines the human rights consequences, of ocean crimes considering efforts towards developing a sustainable blue economy for small island states.


Dr Nathan Bennett

Dr Nathan Bennett ( is a freelance researcher, teacher, facilitator and consultant who works for various non-governmental, academic, and philanthropic organizations. Currently, he is a Research Consultant to the EqualSea Lab at the Universidade de Santiago do Compostela, the Principal of The Peopled Seas Initiative and the Chair of the People and the Ocean Specialist Group for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. He has published more than 70 academic papers and book chapters on the human dimensions of marine and terrestrial conservation, small-scale fisheries, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and governance of the blue economy. His work is global in scope – with past research projects in Canada, Mexico, Thailand, and around the Mediterranean Sea. He received his PhD in Geography from the University of Victoria (2013), and has been the recipient of a number awards including a Trudeau Doctoral Scholarship, SSHRC Doctoral and Postdoctoral Awards, a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award.

Dr Alexander Winkler

Dr Alexander Winkler is a researcher at the Centre for Marine Sciences at the University of the Algarve and a Research Associate of the Rhodes University South Africa. He researches in the areas of fisheries sciences and oceans crimes.

Dr Bolanle Erinosho

Dr Bolanle Erinosho is a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. She is a lawyer, legal researcher and Co-Director for Ghana for the One Ocean Hub where she researches on plural legal systems on oceans governance and human rights-based approaches to protecting small scale fishers.

Dr Alana Malinde S.N. Lancaster

Dr Alana Malinde S.N. Lancaster is a Lecturer in International Environmental & Energy Law and a Member of the Executive Team of the GCRF-funded One Ocean Hub. Most recently, Alana is the Regional Deputy Director of the GNHRE for the Caribbean Region. Additionally she serves on the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law Climate Change Law Specialist Group; the EIA and ABMT Working Groups of the CARICOM Advisory Group on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction; the GESAMP Working Group 41 on ‘Ocean Interventions for Climate Change Mitigation’ (formerly the GESAMP Working Group on Marine Geoengineering), and is one of twenty-one members from 11 countries on the Technical Advisory Group to the LAC UNESCO Sites Climate Change, Risk and Resilience Platform.  She also represents The University of the West Indies on the Coordinating Committee and National Working Group for the GEF Islands Child Project 10279 Project, a five-year project which aims to strengthen the mechanisms for the environmentally sound management of chemicals and wastes in Barbados. Alana specialises in international, regional (CARICOM and OECS) and comparative environmental law, with a particular focus on marine & environmental law, wildlife, fisheries and forestry crime, the law relating to the blue economy and human rights & environmental law. Alana is also researching in the areas of energy law, in particular marine renewables, the just transition, and the circular economy. Alana taught at the University of Guyana before joining the Faculty of Law at The University of the West Indies. In 2017, Alana participated in an academic Staff Mobility under the auspices of the EU-Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for Staff under the DREAM Project at the Universidad de Valladolid in Valladolid, Spain where she lectured on the comparative energy law regime of the European Union and that of the Caribbean region.

Dr Hashali Hamukuaya

Dr Hashali Hamukuaya is a legal researcher and international consultant with a special interest in ocean governance. He is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa, and is affiliated with the Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.