Welcome to FIS   Sponsored By
Subscribe to FIS | Register with FIS | Advertise with FIS | Newsletter | About FIS | Contact us
   


Is the fish you eat caught by 'slaves'?

Another sad story of fishing slavery

Click on the flag for more information about Indonesia INDONESIA
Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 21:30 (GMT + 9)

Enslaved, beaten, malnourished, and so desperate for water he had to collect condensation to drink: Rahmatullah left Indonesia seeking better prospects at sea -- instead he endured a living hell.

The global fishing industry is riddled with forced labour, anti-trafficking experts say, warning that consumers are unaware of the "true cost" of the seafood they buy in stores and restaurants.

Rahmatullah is among 40 Indonesian fisherman who are seeking compensation after allegedly being tricked by false promises from a recruiter (AFP Photo/Bagus Saragih)

Exploited workers face non-payment, overwork, violence, injury, and even death. Indonesia and Southeast Asia are major sources of such labour and unscrupulous brokers target the poor and uneducated with promises of good wages at sea.

Cellphone video footage and images provided to AFP showed the poor conditions for Indonesian fishermen on board a Chinese fishing vessel (AFP Photo/Handout) 

Rahmatullah was told he was heading to Peruvian waters where he would receive $400 a month salary, plus a per ton bonus, but he was allegedly duped by an Indonesian recruiting agency and trafficked to Somalia, where he spent nine brutal months aboard a Chinese fishing vessel, working 18-hour days.

"I felt like a slave," the 24-year-old told AFP, adding: "The Chinese crew drank clean water while we had to collect water from the air conditioning."

"We were often beaten when we didn't catch enough, even if we were sick."
 

'Couldn't fight back'

Rahmatullah is one of 40 Indonesians pushing for compensation after allegedly being tricked with false promises by recruiter PT Maritim Samudera.

Some were sent to vessels in the seas off Japan, and others to boats sailing the Somalian coast.

In interviews with AFP and accounts provided to police and government officials, the men recounted beatings and psychological abuse, hunger, and dehydration.

Two crewmates died from thirst and exhaustion, according to Rahmatullah's testimony.

Most of the men subsisted on white rice scattered with cabbage or boiled fish, while some grew so desperate for water they collected condensation from the air conditioning unit.

"The food was terrible," said 21-year-old Arianus Ziliwu, who was on a boat in Japanese waters.

►Photos released by the Indonesian Seafarers' Movement show fishermen forced to sleep on the floor without mattresses while they served on a Chinese fishing vessel (AFP Photo/Handout)

"And the sleeping conditions didn't seem fit for humans," he explained.

Cellphone video footage and images provided to AFP showed some men slept without mattresses in a grimy cargo hold.

"We couldn't fight back -- I'm from a village and didn’t know any better," added Rahmatullah, who had never worked on a fishing boat before.

Both groups were rescued after sending SOS messages in brief windows of access to mobile internet.

 

Targeting the vulnerable

The young men spent between six and nine months manning nets and packing fish before being saved, and all are owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages, according to sworn statements to police.

Faced with plummeting global fish stocks due to overfishing, seafood companies have increasingly turned to vulnerable migrant workers in a bid to remain profitable, anti-trafficking advocates said.

"If you want cheap tuna or squid, the way to do it is with cheap labour," said Arifsyah M. Nasution, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia.

"And cheap labour comes from Southeast Asia," he added.

The Global Slavery Index says labour exploitation and modern slavery in some fisheries are well documented.

Author: Harry Pearl, AFP (read full article here)

[email protected]
www.fis.com


 Print


Click to know how to advertise in FIS
MORE NEWS
United States
Aug 22, 22:10 (GMT + 9):
Trident Seafood won USDA wild salmon tender worth USD 3 million
United States
Aug 22, 18:20 (GMT + 9):
A seafood fraud investigation DNA tested fish sold in the US. Here’s what they found
Taiwan
Aug 22, 16:10 (GMT + 9):
The 'Intelligent Equipment for Aquaculture' program was launched
United Kingdom
Aug 22, 06:00 (GMT + 9):
Brexit can significantly increase tuna prices
Viet Nam
Aug 22, 05:30 (GMT + 9):
Pangasius export continued to decrease by 12.7%
Chile
Aug 22, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
SMA initiates sanctioning process against Nova Austral for environmental breaches
Argentina
Aug 22, 03:10 (GMT + 9):
Biodiversity treaty on the high seas could affect fishing sector, shipowners warn
United Kingdom
Aug 22, 01:10 (GMT + 9):
Grieg Seafood mulls selling its Skye fish farms
Norway
Aug 21, 23:50 (GMT + 9):
Lerøy reports higher earnings but lower profits for Q2
United Nations
Aug 21, 23:50 (GMT + 9):
Pacific Islands Forum joins negotiations for new treaty on marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction
Chile
Aug 21, 22:50 (GMT + 9):
‘Significant increase’ of salmon lice and absence of giant squid affect Blumar results
Norway
Aug 21, 21:10 (GMT + 9):
Fish Pool Salmon Price Status Report for week 34
Taiwan
Aug 21, 19:50 (GMT + 9):
Heavy rains affect the white shrimp season
Cambodia
Aug 21, 19:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - EU to provide USD 135M fishing industry grant
Norway
Aug 21, 19:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Benchmark wins prestigious Aquaculture Innovation Award



Lenguaje
FEATURED EVENTS
  
TOP STORIES
Official data on cumulative catches of salmon in Alaska
United States Until August 12th, catches total 133,522,000 pieces, of which 54,031,000 of red salmon and 66,620,000 pink salmon. Table 1: Salmon catches, year 2019, accumulated as of August 12th, in thousands of...
Underwater drone developed to transport shark alevines
Spain Madrid, Aug 19 (EFE) .- An underwater drone, developed by the Spanish company Nido Robotic, has allowed the transport of red-shark pups "to great depths" in the waters of Cartagena, after th...
Official data on production, prices, markets and destinations of Alaska Pollock surimi
United States Catches and production Table 1: Catches and production of Alaskan pollock surimi (Gadus chalcogrammus), tonnes, 2019-2018 Season ...
International situation of fishmeal and fish oil (Norway-China-Peru - Week 31)
Worldwide Norway Through week 32, they destined 519,871 tonnes of fish for reduction at an average price of NOK 2.79 /kg, down 20% on those destined for suchpurpose during the same period in the previous year....
 
Maruha Nichiro Corporation
Nichirei Corporation - Headquarters
Pesquera El Golfo S.A.
Ventisqueros - Productos del Mar Ventisqueros S.A
Wärtsilä Corporation -Wartsila Group Headquarter-
ITOCHU Corporation -Headquarter-
BAADER - Nordischer Maschinenbau Rud. Baader GmbH+Co.KG (Head Office)
Inmarsat plc - Global Headquarters
Marks & Spencer
Tesco PLC (Supermarket) - Headquarters
Sea Harvest Corporation (PTY) Ltd. - Group Headquarters
I&J - Irvin & Johnson Holding Company (Pty) Ltd.
Blue Continent Products (Pty) Ltd - (Oceana Group Limited)
AquaChile S.A. - Group Headquarters
Pesquera San Jose S.A.
Nutreco N.V. - Head Office
CNFC China National Fisheries Corporation - Group Headquarters
W. van der Zwan & Zn. B.V.
SMMI - Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co., Ltd. - Headquarters
Icicle Seafoods, Inc
Starkist Seafood Co. - Headquearters
Trident Seafoods Corp.
American Seafoods Group LLC - Head Office
Marel - Group Headquarters
SalMar ASA - Group Headquarters
Sajo Industries Co., Ltd
Hansung Enterprise Co.,Ltd.
BIM - Irish Sea Fisheries Board (An Bord Iascaigh Mhara)
CEFAS - Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
COPEINCA ASA - Corporacion Pesquera Inca S.A.C.
Chun Cheng Fishery Enterprise Pte Ltd.
VASEP - Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers
Gomes da Costa
Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
NISSUI - Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. - Group Headquarters
FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization - Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (Headquarter)
Hagoromo Foods Co., Ltd.
Koden Electronics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S - Headquarters
BVQI - Bureau Veritas Quality International (Head Office)
UPS - United Parcel Service, Inc. - Headquarters
Hamburg Süd Group - (Headquearters)
Armadora Pereira S.A. - Group Headquarters
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Headquarters)
Mowi ASA (formerly Marine Harvest ASA) - Headquarters
Marubeni Europe Plc -UK-
Findus Ltd
Icom Inc. (Headquarter)
WWF Centroamerica
Oceana Group Limited
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. - Headquarters
Friosur S.A. - Headquarters
Cargill, Incorporated - Global Headquarters
Benihana Inc.
Leardini Pescados Ltda
Mitsubishi Corporation Marine Products Depts. D.Team
CJ Corporation  - Group Headquarters
Greenpeace International - The Netherlands | Headquarters
David Suzuki Foundation
Fisheries and Oceans Canada -Communications Branch-
Mitsui & Co.,Ltd - Headquarters
NOREBO Group (former Ocean Trawlers Group)
Natori Co., Ltd.
Carrefour Supermarket - Headquarters
FedEx Corporation - Headquarters
Cooke Inc. - Group Headquarters
AKBM - Aker BioMarine ASA
Seafood Choices Alliance -Headquarter-
Austevoll Seafood ASA
Walmart / Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Supermarket) -Headquarter-
New Japan Radio Co.Ltd (JRC) -Head Office-
Gulfstream JSC
Marine Stewardship Council - MSC Worldwide Headquarters
Royal Dutch Shell plc (Headquarter)
Genki Sushi Co.,Ltd -Headquarter-
Iceland Pelagic ehf
AXA Assistance Argentina S.A.
Caterpillar Inc. - Headquarters
Tiger Brands Limited
SeaChoice
National Geographic Society
AmazonFresh, LLC - AmazonFresh

Copyright 1995 - 2019 Fish Info & Services Co.Ltd| All Rights Reserved.   DISCLAIMER