Using emerging technologies to regulate illegal fishing and forced labour in the Indo-Pacific

Dr. Jade Lindley, Professor Erika J. Techera

1 The University of Western Australia Faculty of Law and the Oceans Institute
2 The University of Western Australia Faculty of Law and the Oceans Institute

*corresponding author:

One of Australia’s greatest assets, its extensive coastline and exclusive economic zone (EEZ), also presents a major threat to its security; both human and food. Our research considers how new technologies could be utilised by Australian law enforcement and regulatory agencies to detect and intercept illicit activity in and around Australian waters. Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing off Australia’s coast and in the Indo-Pacific region presents a threat to the Australian economy and food security. In addition, in neighbouring regions vulnerable people are trafficked and forced into labour receiving little or no pay aboard vessels at sea defying their human rights in order to supply our insatiable demand for seafood. This research examines new and emerging technologies to prevent illegal activities aboard vessels at sea within and beyond our EEZ. In exploring the use of new technologies, we also consider legal and regulatory supports and barriers, including bi- and multilateral arrangements with other Indo-Pacific nations and interactions with organisations such as Interpol. This work forms part of a larger research project that seeks to better understand Australia’s role in supporting legal and sustainable human and food security within the Indo-Pacific region.


DR. JADE LINDLEY is a Research Fellow at The University of Western Australia Faculty of Law and the Oceans Institute. She’s worked as a researcher for state and federal government, international organizations and in academia. Jade was awarded her PhD from the Australian National University, with a period as a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include transnational organized crime and international law. In 2015, Jade published a book, Somali Piracy: A Criminological Perspective.


The society is devoted to promoting criminological study, research and practice in the region and bringing together persons engaged in all aspects of the field. The membership of the society reflects the diversity of persons involved in the field, including practitioners, academics, policy makers and students.

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