8 June 2020
London. UK. At sea, Fisheries Observers are employed to provide oversight of the fish caught by commercial operators ensuring that the catch is correctly logged, and healthy fish stocks are maintained to ensure the sustainability of the world’s oceans.
Tragically, some fisheries observers are subject the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, work in fear of their lives, and in the worst cases, loose their lives through unlawful acts towards them.
They are invariable the sole observer onboard a vessel out at sea, without direct and immediate support if issues and attitudes towards them onboard become difficult or dangerous.
The Case of Eritara Aati
The death of Kiribati Observer Eritara Aati, reported on 3 March 2020 onboard the Taiwanese registered and flagged WIN FAR 636 fishing vessel which was on a voyage to catch fish from a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fishery, is currently being investigated as a murder (homicide).
Human Rights at Sea is currently involved in the detailed review of the observer welfare issue, the specific case of Eritara Aati, and the wider investigation into the protection of fundamental human rights in the global fishing sector and supply chain.
Eritara leaves behind a widow, Tekarara, and four children, the youngest being two years old.
Supporters of the family led by Patrick Carroll and the Board of the Association of Professional Observers, are attempting to raise USD$5000 towards helping the family get by, and should any reader wish to help get the total over the target amount, and help give a better future to the children left behind, please donate via the GoFundMe Page. A few $ will go a long way for the family. Thank you.
[UPDATE 03/06/20] Human Rights at Sea has now issued a related detailed report on Fisheries Observer Deaths at sea. Download your high resolution (24 MB) copy below.
Download our latest independent report on the issues faced by Fisheries Observers, their safety, well-being and personal security when operating alone at sea dated 1 July 2020.