Lessons in leadership from the ongoing fight to save whales on the seven seas
Born in Sweden, Peter, 32, joined Sea Shepherd as soon as he was old enough to submit an application. He is the Director of Campaigns for Sea Shepherd Global, sits on the Board of Sea Shepherd Global, the Board of Sea Shepherd Netherlands and is Chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia. He heads Sea Shepherd’s illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) Taskforce for Africa. Watch the Sea Shepherd video
In his fourteen years with Sea Shepherd, Peter has sailed the seven seas from the foreboding Labrador Coast to the treacherous Antarctic Continent, using direct intervention to save as many lives as possible from illegal whaling, sealing and destructive fishing practices. Peter believes that in their capacity to suffer, animals are our equals, and that when government fails in its responsibility to uphold the law, then it is the responsibility of compassionate people to fill the law enforcement vacuum.
Peter has crewed on nine consecutive Antarctic Whale Defense Campaigns and for the past five years, Peter has been captain of the M/Y Bob Barker. In 2013, the Bob Barker, under Peter’s command, was rammed on several occasions by the factory whaling ship Nisshin Maru when Sea Shepherd successfully prevented the whaler from refueling. The campaign succeeded in preventing the slaughter of 932 endangered, threatened and protected whales. Peter was subsequently given the Young Environmentalist of the Year Award by the Bob Brown Foundation.
On Operation Icefish 2014/15, the Bob Barker, also under Peter’s command, set the world record for the longest pursuit of a poaching vessel at sea after chasing the Interpol-wanted F/V Thunder for 110 days before it sank in the Gulf of Guinea. Peter was selected as one of the 25 ‘toughest’ people by Esquire Magazine for his leadership role in Operation Icefish. In 2016, Peter signed a historic accord with the Government of Gabon, resulting in a partnership where Sea Shepherd worked together with the Gabonese Navy and the Gabonese Fisheries Enforcement Agency to patrol Gabon’s sovereign waters to stop IUU fishing. Titled Operation Albacore, the campaign resulted in the arrest of 4 IUU fishing vessels. In a subsequent operation led by Peter in in Liberia, 5 IUU fishing vessels were arrested.
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, Captain Paul Watson, Dr Jill Robinson, Dr Christine Townend, Dr Ian Gawler and Sri Pradeep Nath.