KUTA, Indonesia D, 28-year-old Indonesian man, was witness to a deadly assault on a fellow boat crew member by the captain when they worked aboard the Taiwanese fishing vessel Da Wang a few years ago. The captain hit his friend in the head, then forced them to continue working.
In the morning when we woke up for breakfast, we found him dead in his room. The captain wrapped up my dead friends body with a blanket and then stored him in the freezer, D said in an interview in July 2019.
D is one of 34 Indonesian sailors featured in an investigative report by the environmental group Greenpeace and the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (SBMI) published on Dec. 9. The organizations looked into their complaints of forced labor during their employment on 13 fishing vessels registered in China, Taiwan, Fiji and Vanuatu.
The crews statements described conditions in which they experienced overwork, withholding of wages, debt bondage, and physical and sexual violence. These conditions eventually forced them to cut short their working contracts, which typically run about two years, and forfeit the deposits they were typically required to pay to get the jobs.
Theres a strong interrelation between illegal fishing and forced labor of crews aboard fishing boats its two sides of the same coin, Arifsyah Nasution, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace Southeast Asia, told Mongabay.
With coastal fisheries being depleted due to overfishing, vessels are heading farther out into open waters and high seas, in turn racking up higher operating costs. Companies look for cheap labor to reduce costs and stay profitable and much of that cheap labor comes from Southeast Asia.
The way for [companies] to survive is by doing illegal activities: unreported catch, shark finning, transshipment so they can stay out in the seas longer, and sacrificing standards for salary and life on board, Arifsyah said.
Citing the Taiwan Fisheries Agency, the report says 21,994 Indonesian fishers were working on Taiwanese coastal and distant-water fishing vessels as of June 2019. Migrant boat crews from Indonesia and the Philippines make up a large component of Taiwans distant-water fleets, one of the top five in the world and responsible for an industry valued at $2 billion a year, according to Greenpeace.
While the abuse mostly occurs once the crews are aboard the vessel, exploitative working arrangements begin with recruitment by fly-by-night hiring agents, the report says.
Many Indonesian migrant fishers are reportedly given false seafarers papers by the hiring agencies, which in most cases arent even licensed to send workers overseas; only two of 124 registered manning agencies had permission from the Indonesian Transportation Ministry to recruit and place migrant fishers aboard foreign vessels, according to government records cited in the report.
The migrant fishers also have to agree to a payment scheme in which their salaries are deducted to pay guarantee deposits and processing fees for the first six to eight months of their employment, forcing them to work long hours for little or no pay, the report says. And when a crew member fails to complete their contract, they will lose the deposit, it adds.
The clauses in the contract are already unfair, Arifsyah said. Theres an indication that [working conditions] are designed to be inconvenient [for the boat crews], and its being used to benefit the local recruiters and agencies abroad.
Despite the onerous conditions, many Indonesians still seize on the opportunity to break free from poverty, the report says. Some even consider it a prestigious first work experience because of the overseas placement, Arifsyah said.
According to Arifsyah, most of the migrant fishers come from Indonesias most populous island, Java,with hiring agencies concentrated in the province of Central Java and the cities of Jakarta and Bekasi. Theres also been an increase in the number of candidates coming from eastern Indonesia and the Sumatran provinces of Lampung, North Sumatra and Aceh, Arifsyah said.
Its likely that [recruiters] are looking for new pockets to source the boat crews, he said. It seems that theres a network that consolidates them all so that people from outside Java can register to the agencies in Java.
Greenpeace and SBMI, the migrant workers union, reached out to the companies and individuals operating the respective fishing vessels. All of them denied accusations of withholding or deducting salaries paid through the recruitment agencies. Some of the boat operators also promised to investigate the allegations and to improve efforts in upholding the human rights of their migrant boat crews.
Arifsyah said some key aspects of the trade still needed to be exposed, such as finding out where the fish caught by these vessels end up, and also identifying the middlemen involved in the recruitment process.
But that should be a concern of the law enforcers as this is a cross-country issue and involves multi stakeholders. Law enforcers should up their game, for instance, by involving Interpol, Arifsyah said.
In response to the report, the Indonesian fisheries ministry said it would compile a comprehensive database of Indonesian migrant fishers and hiring agencies in the country. It also vowed to improve coordination with other government institutions including the ministries of labor, transportation and foreign affairs, and the national agency for migrant worker protection to set up clear jurisdictional authority for resolving these issues.
Protecting our boat crews is an absolute [necessity] not only for our fishermen or businesses, but also boat crews, Zulficar Mochtar, the ministrys head of capture fisheries, told Mongabay on the sidelines of a recent event in Kuta, Bali.
Greenpeace is calling on governments across Southeast Asia to resolve slavery at sea as part of efforts to achieve sustainability for fisheries and marine protection. This includes ratifying and implementing the International Labour Organizations Work in Fishing Convention to protect their citizens from human rights abuses on fishing vessels, Greenpeace said.
We cant continue to ignore both environmental and social issues [in global fisheries], and only resolve one of them, Arifsyah said. It has to be both.
FEEDBACK:Use this formto send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.
Read more from the original source:
- Interview: Building a robot to navigate the high seas - ComputerWeekly.com - March 4th, 2020
- 'High Seas' Netflix Review: Stream It or Skip It? - March 4th, 2020
- Design Collective by Cintas Creates High Fashion on the High Seas with Virgin Voyages Apparel Collection - Yahoo Finance - March 4th, 2020
- This Is How Much It Costs to Stay in Kylie Jenner's Vacation Villa - KMOX - March 4th, 2020
- The U.S. Navys Future Fleet May Run Aground In Heavy Weather - Forbes - March 4th, 2020
- Four things to do in the Hastings area - Bexhill Observer - March 4th, 2020
- As sea levels rise, high marshes along the Oregon coast are likely to shrink - Yale Climate Connections - March 4th, 2020
- If Honesty Is The Best Policy, Why Do We Forget It? - Forbes - March 4th, 2020
- Susan Calman announced to host Cruising With after Jane McDonald quit - Metro.co.uk - March 4th, 2020
- This is a solution that could help end illegal fishing - GreenBiz - March 4th, 2020
- Doomed: The Story of How Nazi Germany's Best Battleship Was Sunk - The National Interest Online - March 4th, 2020
- Is Turkey right on Idlib and refugees? - Ahval - March 4th, 2020
- The Perfect Time to Visit Panama City Beach for Every Type of Traveler - Thrillist - March 4th, 2020
- From Brexit to coronavirus: warehousing threats - Tina Massey - March 4th, 2020
- From the Mountain To The Sea: Highlander Teacher, Says Island Life Amazes Him - Fiji Sun Online - March 4th, 2020
- Rear admiral added to Comox Valley Walk of Achievement - Comox Valley Record - March 4th, 2020
- Ancient Earth Was A Waterworld Covered In Oceans That Had No Continents According To A New Study - BroBible - March 4th, 2020
- Hunt the high seas as a hyper-evolved super shark in 'Maneater' - Engadget - February 24th, 2020
- We need to intensify marine conservation efforts - Cosmos - February 24th, 2020
- Seablip: Everything We Know About The Stardew Valley-Inspired RPG (So Far) - TheGamer - February 24th, 2020
- Kevin Lyman seeks fan input on possible Warped Rewind At Sea 2.0 - Alternative Press - February 24th, 2020
- Sea of Thieves Update Crews of Rage Out Now - TechRaptor - February 24th, 2020
- Control of offshore gas and oil provokes conflicts in eastern Mediterranean - World Socialist Web Site - February 24th, 2020
- Mozambique, rich in gas, could be going towards a disaster | Mozambique - Up News Info - February 24th, 2020
- Adapting to Rising Seas, Schools Move to the Rafters and Cats Swim - The New York Times - February 24th, 2020
- Efforts ongoing to prevent pollution from MV Alta wreck - The Irish Times - February 24th, 2020
- Ghost ships that drifted the oceans - My Sailing - February 24th, 2020
- Despite talks, more fighting likely in Libya | Michel Cousins - The Arab Weekly - February 24th, 2020
- MV Alta: The unmanned voyage of the Ballycotton ghost ship - The Irish Times - February 24th, 2020
- Parsifal III looks like its going to hit the dock in Below Deck: Sailing Yacht sneak peek - Monsters and Critics - February 24th, 2020
- The Call of the Wild is a picturesque cinematic journey that is ruined by the use of a CGI dog - The Canberra Times - February 24th, 2020
- Hardy beetles survived all that Zealandia threw at them for 40 million years - Stuff.co.nz - February 24th, 2020
- Weather warnings in place in parts of Ireland ahead of Storm Dennis - IrishCentral - February 12th, 2020
- Future Of Salmon In A Warming World Part 2 - KYUK - February 12th, 2020
- Top things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend: Feb. 14-16 - Tampa Bay Times - February 12th, 2020
- Virus Shuts North Koreas Best Route Around Trump Sanctions - Yahoo Finance - February 12th, 2020
- Saving the Ocean's Wildlife: Sustainable Food - KCPW - February 12th, 2020
- Things to Do: A wild cabaret, '90s blockbuster film, winter carnival and scaled-down 'South Pacific' - Press Herald - February 12th, 2020
- Hill and Immonen Plunge into aquatic horror in this exclusive preview - The A.V. Club - February 12th, 2020
- Bishop Kukah: Our hypocrisy and duplicity have caught up with us - Vatican News - February 12th, 2020
- Govt nod to India-Iceland pact in fisheries sector - Outlook India - February 12th, 2020
- A Desperate bid to Avert Rising Seas Disaster in Californias Bay Area - Government Technology - February 12th, 2020
- A Legless Black Man Comes Into a Windfall in This Biting Satire - The New York Times - February 12th, 2020
- Pirates of the Northern Seas and Scotland's Oceanic Criminals - Ancient Origins - February 12th, 2020
- Advisory Number 4 on the Tropical Cyclone UESI - Vanuatu - ReliefWeb - February 12th, 2020
- Virus outbreak shuts North Korea's best route around US sanctions - The Business Times - February 12th, 2020
- Snow and ice warning as Storm Ciara crosses the country - RTE.ie - February 12th, 2020
- Snow and wind hits the north as Met Office warnings continue - Press and Journal - February 12th, 2020
- 'High Seas' Season 2 Coming to Netflix in November 2019 ... - January 19th, 2020
- High Seas Season 3: Renewed For Third And Fourth Season ... - January 19th, 2020
- Mobile protected areas for biodiversity on the high seas - Science Magazine - January 19th, 2020
- Townsend residents community involvement earns her an all-expense paid trip on the high seas - Lowell Sun - January 19th, 2020
- 5 High Seas Adventures To Watch When Youre Done With Pirates Of The Caribbean - WhatCulture - January 19th, 2020
- Mobile protected areas needed to preserve biodiversity in the high seas - indiablooms - January 19th, 2020
- Navigating the high seas of deals and discounts during Cruise Season - KING5.com - January 19th, 2020
- WATCH: Hovercraft struggles in the Solent strong winds and high seas hit hovers and trains - Isle of Wight County Press - January 19th, 2020
- Legendary Rockers KISS Return To The High Seas With KISS Kruise X - Icon Vs. Icon - January 19th, 2020
- Azur Lane: Crosswave Gets Ship-Shape With New Screenshots and Details Ahead Of Its U.S. Release - Gamepur - January 19th, 2020
- SpaceX delays dramatic in-flight abort test of Falcon 9 rocket to prove Crew Dragon is safe for astronauts - CBS News - January 19th, 2020
- 20 Things That Will Get Anyone In Hot Water With The Cruise Ship Staff - TheTravel - January 19th, 2020
- Annie's Lilla Crawford and Dear Evan Hansen's Jared Goldsmith Will Star in Readings of We Are Still Tornadoes - Playbill.com - January 19th, 2020
- Short Redhead Reel Reviews for the week of Jan. 17 - ECM Publishers - January 19th, 2020
- Dolittle Is One of the Worst Movies in Years - The Atlantic - January 19th, 2020
- Millions of Sharks Around the World May Have Fishing Hooks Stuck Inside Them, Scientists Suggest - Newsweek - January 19th, 2020
- 20 things everyone gets in hot water with the cruise ship staff - Mash Viral - January 19th, 2020
- Twitch streamer goes AFK at the worst possible time in Sea of Thieves - Dexerto - January 19th, 2020
- Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates - The Guardian - January 19th, 2020
- Nul points for Britain in the EU revision bong contest - The Guardian - January 19th, 2020
- How an advert in the Echo led to a life on the high seas and France's highest order of merit - Liverpool Echo - January 19th, 2020
- Bobby Labonte lives up to family name with NASCAR Hall of Fame induction - Speedway Digest - January 19th, 2020
- Dolittle is muddled CGI chaos with a grotesque irony at its core - The Globe and Mail - January 19th, 2020
- Advanced Native 4K Projector Technology Hits the High Seas, as Panasonic Collaborates with Princess Cruises to Deliver Its First Immersive... - January 7th, 2020
- High Seas Season 3: Netflix Release Date, Cast And Other Details - The Digital Wise - January 7th, 2020
- High Seas Season: Heres Why This Spanish Suspense Drama Is A Must See! - TheNationRoar - January 7th, 2020
- These 5 Navies Are Uncontested On The High Seas - Yahoo News - January 7th, 2020
- Factbox: Highlights of Austrian conservative-Greens coalition deal - Reuters - January 7th, 2020
- Going Big with Marine Conservation - The UCSB Current - January 7th, 2020
- Tony Winner Paulo Szot and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Erika Jayne Join Broadway Cast of Chicago January 6 - Playbill.com - January 7th, 2020
- [UPDATE 9:27 am] Coast Guard Works to Rescue Three Crew Members of Commercial Fishing Boat Damaged Near the South Jetty - Redheaded Blackbelt - January 7th, 2020
- Gavin Creel to Perform at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - Playbill.com - January 7th, 2020