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The human rights dimensions of oceans crimes and its impact on small scale fishers: the Caribbean perspective

Dr Alana Lancaster

One Ocean Hub, University of Strathclyde, UK

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  • human rights,
  • small-scale fishers,
  • Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU),
  • Ocean Governance,
  • One ocean Hub
Target Group
  • Community workers,
  • Policy makers,
  • Researchers
  • English
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Dr Alana Lancaster sheds light on the human rights dimensions of ocean crimes in the context of small-scale fisheries in the Caribbean.

This Video presentation by Dr Alana Lancaster, the University of the West Indies, Barbados, “The human rights dimensions of oceans crimes and its impact on small scale fishers: the Caribbean Perspective,” 24 June 2022 delivered as part of the GNHRE-UNEP Summer/Winter School 2022 panel on “The human rights dimensions of oceans crimes and its impact on small scale fishers.”

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. The panel examines 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.