Captain Peter Hammarstedt

Chair, Sea Shepherd Australia & Global Director of Campaigns, Sea Shepherd

About Captain Peter Hammarstedt

Swedish-American Peter Hammarstedt, 38, is the Director of Campaigns for Sea Shepherd and is Chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia. He is captain of the ocean-going vessel Bob Barker, having spent 20 years at-sea including 10 years in Antarctica.

In 2014/15, the Bob Barker, with Peter as captain, set the world record for the longest pursuit of a poaching vessel at sea after chasing the Interpol-wanted fishing vessel Thunder for 110 days, covering three oceans and 11,000 nautical miles, before its captain intentionally sank his own vessel in the Gulf of Guinea in a bid to destroy evidence. The transoceanic pursuit was covered extensively by The New York Times and is the subject of the book Chasing Thunder by Eskil Engdal and Kjetil Saetter.

Since then, Peter, has provided civilian offshore patrol vessels (COPVs), under so-called ‘ship rider’ agreements, to the African coastal states of Liberia, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Benin, Sierra Leone, Namibia, The Gambia and Tanzania in order to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. As a result, in 2018 Peter was nominated for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award, given to a person under the age of 40 with an innovative solution to addressing an environmental concern.

On-going partnerships between Sea Shepherd and the law enforcement agents of African coastal and island States have resulted in the arrest of 85 vessels for illegal fishing and other fisheries crimes over the past seven years.

Peter is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Winsome Constance Kindness Gold Medal for Humanitarian Service, previously awarded to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dame Jane Goodall, Mrs Maneka Gandhi MP, Sir David Attenborough and Mr. Damien Mander.

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