On 21 February 2017 we were fortunate to present Wietse van der Werf at a FFN Academy lecture in Utrecht. Wietse is founder of the Black Fish and won an FFN Award in 2016 for his efforts to counter illegal fisheries in the European seas. The alarming rate of illegal fisheries and lack of legal enforcement to protect marine resources now demands conservation to take an innovative approach. Accordingly, Wietse is ‘changing the game of environmental enforcement’. During his lecture, Wietse elaborated on how he involves a wide variety of actors across society to actively engage in marine conservation. His talent to engage in unconventional collaborations make his projects a success. This unique approach enables him to mobilize people and resources needed to set up the Sea Ranger Service and the Wildlife Air Service. Enthusiastic students and young conservationists from various cities across the Netherlands listened carefully to his inspiring stories and a lively discussion afterwards followed afterwards. We closed the evening with drinks and adequately served a vegetarian Tuna Salad from the ‘Vegetarische Slager’, a perfect alternative for eating fish!
By Sofie te Wierik