8 December 2020
London, UK. Human Rights at Sea has instructed 9 Bedford Row Chambers, London, to support the ongoing review of the case of Eritara Aatii Kaierua, the Kiribati fisheries observer who was found dead onboard the Taiwanese-flagged vessel WIN FAR 636 in March of this year while fishing in PNG waters.
Led by Head of Chambers, Steven Kay QC and supported by senior counsel, David Hughes, the legal review will contribute to ongoing family-led efforts to address concerns around the investigation. This will include queries about evidence gathering and handling, disclosure and events leading to the consequential release of the vessel to continue with commercial fishing activities.
The case has been extensively covered in the international press and is part of a wider and ongoing piece of international work by the charity advocating for the increased protection of workers at sea, including the safety, security and well-being of fisheries observers. This work is being undertaken alongside other NGOs and international organisations, including the Association for Professional Observers (APO) and WWF.
This week, Human Rights at Sea will be attending the 17th Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting for 26 Member States where it holds official Observer status.
During the WCPFC meeting, Human Rights at Sea will be making a submission to Members about the proposed model policy for a dedicated Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) specifically for fisheries observers. This includes additional proposed protections in light of the Eritara Kaierua case, and other fisheries observer cases.