2022 Assembly


Ian Urbina, New York Times Journalist Shares with us Some Developments


Ian Urbina, New York Times journalist shares with us some small developments related (at least tangentially) to The Outlaw Ocean series, which has featured as News items on the RENATE website during the Summer months, 2015. (29th July, 2015: Criminality at Sea, Involving Trafficking and the Exploitation of Human Beings)

Firstly, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently offered more insight on his hopes and plans for improving policing at sea. He gave this input in a couple of interviews with the Times. During the ‘’Our Ocean’’ conference in Chile, he also riffed a little on the sea slaves story. But more importantly he ended by saying that he intends to make the topic a focus of next year’s conference.

The US Senate caucus on Human Trafficking held a fascinating panel on the role the U.S. government might play through marketplace leverage. Two ideas discussed: stricter traceability rules on seafood imported to the U.S., and raising the bar on transparency and labour standards for the more than $300 million worth of seafood bought by U.S. agencies.

Lastly, this week, a court in Sao Tome and Principe convicted the three officers of the Thunder. This was the pirate fishing ship at the top of Interpol’s Most Wanted list and which the Sea Shepherd pursued relentlessly on the high seas.

A conviction such as this is a fairly rare occurrence, since so few of these notorious scofflaws are apprehended or prosecuted. It is heartening to know that some of the documents seized on The Thunder are now being used by Spain and other countries to target the criminal syndicates tied to illegal fishing on the high seas.


Adapted and compiled by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person