Apr 04, 2020 Last Updated 11:49 AM, Apr 4, 2020

Keeping our seafarers safe

A Marshalles fisheries officer boarding a Philippines fishing vessel. A Marshalles fisheries officer boarding a Philippines fishing vessel. Francisco Blaha - www.francisco-blaha.info
Published in July
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In what has been called a ‘landmark decision’, Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) member states are to include crew employment conditions in minimum requirements for fishing licenses. For many years there has been concern about workers’ conditions on foreign longline fishing vessels plying our region’s waters.

The FFA says these vessels and the fishing companies that own them, “often require crew to stay at sea for up to a year with poor pay and conditions and harsh penalties for dissent.”

The decision to address these concerns also comes on the heels of a Business and Human Rights Resource Centre report that alleges canned tuna brands are “failing to tackle modern slavery in their Pacific supply chains.” That report alleges that “severe human rights abuse is endemic, including forced labour, slavery, human trafficking and child labour, and reports of migrant workers bought and sold as slaves and tossed overboard if they complain or get injured.”

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