McCone Irvine Auditorium
McCone Building
499 Pierce St
Monterey, CA 93940
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Open to the Public

Film poster with an ominous rusty fishing vessle, a man silohuetted on deck, the sun setting pale pink and orange behind, blue and dark ocean waters below

Ghost Fleet:  Film Screening, Discussion, & Fund to End Forced Labor
Speaker:  Patima Tungpuchayakul, co-founder of the Labour Protection Network
Friday, March 29th, 2024
6:00pm to 8:00pm Pacific Time (reception to follow)
In-Person Event and Virtual via Zoom
Irvine Auditorium, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
499 Pierce Street, Monterey, CA 93940
Free, open to the public

About the Film

Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul has committed her life to rescuing and returning home men from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian nations who have been sold to Thai fishing companies by human traffickers. Once at sea, these captive men go months, even years, without setting foot on land, earning little to no pay, trapped in a modern form of slavery on the boats and forced to endure horrific and often deadly conditions. Patima and her small team of activists risk their lives on remote Indonesian islands to find these men, fight for their emancipation and seek justice for them. In the face of illness, death threats, corruption, and complacency, Patima’s fearless determination reveals stories of criminal conspiracy at the heart of the global seafood industry, as she calls on her nation and the world to wake up and take action.

About the Speaker and the Labour Protection Network

Ms. Patima Tungpuchayakul has emerged as the key leader in ending slavery at sea in Southeast Asia. Her rescue work was the subject of a 2019 award-winning documentary film Ghost Fleet, and earned her a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. After surviving her own bout with cancer at age 22, she became an activist and has dedicated her life to helping others. Over two decades, Patima has built awareness of human rights abuse and protected migrant workers across 10 nations in the region.

In 2004, she co-founded the Labour Protection Network (LPN) along with her husband Sompong Srakaew. They have assisted over 5,000 Thai and migrant workers to date. 

“My goal is to live to help others”

Sompong Srakaew began working on migrant worker issues after graduating with a degree in social work in the 1990’s. He founded LPN in 2004 to pursue justice for migrant workers in Thailand. That same year he coordinated with law enforcement to raid a shrimp processing plant. In that raid, they liberated 66 Burmese workers who were trapped in forced labor. Similarly, he advocated on behalf of a group of migrant workers who had been horribly mistreated, when 39 of their 99 crew members had starved to death at sea.

His research and advocacy directly led to the strengthening of the Thai laws against human trafficking. The 2008 Anti-Trafficking Act strengthened the provisions of the penal code that criminalize human trafficking. He was given a Trafficking in Persons Report Hero Award in 2008 in recognition of his efforts to combat modern-day slavery.

“This is my life’s work”

Fund to End Forced Labor at Sea


There is no obligation to give in order to attend.  Knowledge is power, please join us and advocate for the end of forced labor at sea. 

The fundraising goal is $5000.00 with a specific purpose:  to help a small fishing community in the south of Thailand rebuild their lives after five men were wrongfully imprisoned and detained for 7 months in Malaysia.  LEARN MORE

“I had the opportunity to meet these fishermen and their families, who are still recovering from the trauma of the experience. They want to rebuild their community and pursue other means of income to escape the abusive conditions they faced as fishermen. The money from this fundraiser will be used to help these former fishermen purchase new boats such as the one pictured above, so they can pursue their dream of transforming their quiet community amongst the mangroves into an ecotourist hotspot.  The remaining funds will be used to cover medical and housing expenses for abused former and current fishermen as well as scholarships for their children to have the opportunity to attend school in the surrounding provinces.”   quote from Molly Ryan, alumna of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy 2023.  Molly is the organizer of this fundraiser and film event. 

Event Itinerary

5:30pm: Doors open

6:00pm: Event begins (film runs 90 minutes)

7:30pm: Discussion & Audience Questions, with guest speaker via Zoom Ms. Patima Tungpuchayakul

8:00pm: Reception begins (wine and light refreshments served)

8:30pm: Event ends

Joining Remotely

Ghost Fleet is available free of charge on Tubi:  Ghost Fleet Film (90 minutes).  Remote attendees are encouraged to join us for the brief introductory remarks at approximately 6:00pm, then watch the film on their own, rejoining us for the discussion at approximately 7:30pm.  

Zoom Link

Password: NoPlanetB

Meeting ID: 934 1666 0930

Or iPhone one-tap :

    US: +16694449171„93416660930#  or +16699006833„93416660930#

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

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    Meeting ID: 934 1666 0930

    Phone Password: 955312037 (no participant id, press # to bypass)

    International numbers available:

Event Location: McCone Irvine Auditorium

The McCone Building is located at 499 Pierce Street, Monterey, CA, 93940, on the campus of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Attendees should enter through the glass doors from Pierce Street, and the Irvine Auditorium is located inside to the left. View the campus map.


Parking is available in any Middlebury Institute campus lot after 5 p.m., no parking permit required, no fee.  View the campus map.  Free parking is also available on the street (time limits on surrounding streets end at 6 p.m.).


Contact Rachel Christopherson at the Center for the Blue Economy at or (831) 647-4183.

Gratitude to Our Sponsors

We thank KAZU radio, 90.3 KAZU-NPR for the Monterey Bay Area—a community service of the California State University, Monterey Bay and the Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation.

About the Host:  the Center for the Blue Economy

The Center for the Blue Economy is a research center at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Our mission is to provide economic and policy analysis that supports the development of a robust and equitable blue economy for the 21st century. The Center uses the World Bank’s definition of the Blue Economy: the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health. 

See the Lineup of all Speakers & Events

The Environmental Justice and Sustainability Speaker Series