Postdoctoral Fellow, Nelson Mandela University

Dr Emma Witbooi is a post-doctoral fellow since 1 February 2014.

Emma Witbooi has a Masters degree in Environmental Law from the University of Cape Town, focusing on South African subsistence fisheries, and a Doctorate in Marine and Environmental Law from University College London. Her doctoral thesis examined sustainability in marine fisheries relations between the EU and certain West African countries and was subsequently published as a monograph Fisheries and Sustainability: A Legal Analysis of EU and West African Agreements in 2012. She was a researcher and assistant lecturer at UCT during the years 1999-2003 and has returned to guest lecture in International Marine Living Resources law at Masters Level.

During her first year as a post-doctorate fellow, Emma conducted research into the fisheries crime approach in South Africa. She presented a paper titled "The fisheries crime paradigm: Towards a new approach to addressing illegal fishing" at the "AIM Strategy: Legal Challenges & Opportunities" Conference organised at NMMU on 13-14 November 2014 as well as a seminar presentation of the same title at the European Centre of Tort Law in Vienna (Austria) on 21 January 2015. Emma published "Illegal Unreported and Unregulated fishing on the High Seas: The Port State Measures Agreement in Context" in (2014) 29 International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 290-320 and co-authored an article with Eve de Coning on the fisheries crime approach entitled "Towards a new 'fisheries crime' paradigm: South Africa as an illustrative example" in (2015) 60 Marine Policy 208-215. A further article, co-authored with Phil Snijman, "Law Enforcement responses facilitated by a fisheries crime approach: The South African example" is forthcoming in the Journal of Ocean Law and Governance in Africa in 2017. She is an active member of the PescaDOLUS international research network on transnational organised fisheries crime including via her involvement in co-organising the first international symposium on fisheries crime, FishCRIME, in Cape Town in 2015 as well as the subsequent equally successful FishCRIME 2017 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia; her ongoing work with the United Nations Drugs and Crime Office (UNODC) in the sphere of criminal law enforcement towards addressing transnational organised fisheries crime; and as a co-editor and chapter author of the network's forthcoming seminal book on transnational fisheries crime. Emma is also the Research and Evaluation head of the newly established NMMU FishFORCE Fisheries Crime Law Enforcement Academy project.


  • –present
    Post-doctoral fellow fisheries crime, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University