HRAS Pursues Australian Legislative Change for Long-Term Maritime Levy Seafarer Support

LONDON. UK. In the past months, Human Rights at Sea along with in-country partners, has been discreetly pursuing its Maritime Levy Campaign in Australia. This is focused on following-up on recent State-level success in New Zealand updating national legislation for all seafarer welfare centers to be sustainably funded through a dedicated maritime levy contribution.

Critical review of FISH Standard for Crew exposes weaknesses of Industry-led certification

London, UK. The Seafood Working Group (SWG) of which 28 member organisations, including Human Rights at Sea, has issued a collective critical statement as to the current standing of the industry-led Fairness, Integrity, Safety and Health (FISH) Standard for Crew highlighting the key weaknesses which will prevent it being an effective tool to address human and labour rights abuses for fishers.

Exploited Indonesian Fishers to be repatriated. Vessel de-listed from MSC-Certification

London. UK. / Suva. Fiji. Following the public highlighting on 16 January by Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) of the case of two exploited Indonesian fishers of the Chinese-owned, Fijian-flagged He Shun 38 (No.00359) vessel, both crew are reported as being repatriated to Indonesia on Thursday 28th January with some wages paid. Further, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has reported to HRAS that the Fiji Fishing Industry Association (FFIA) has de-listed the He Shun from MSC-Certification.

Indonesian Fishers fight for Safe Working Conditions and Repatriation from the Marshall Islands

London. UK. / Indonesia. The prevalent issue of poor and abusive conditions for Indonesian migrant fishers continues to be highlighted internationally by local NGOs. Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia has been sharing evidence gathered to further shine a spotlight on fisher's working circumstances, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, which fail to reflect the safety and well-being intent of the likes of the ILO C188 Working in Fishing Convention and highlight failures to look after migrant crew when contracts are terminated.

Ongoing investigation of Indonesian fishers abandoned and exploited in Fiji

London, UK. / Suva, Fiji. Humanitarian ship visitors working with the UK charitable NGO, Human Rights at Sea, have been alerted to exploited Indonesian crew on a Chinese owned Fijian-flagged long-liner abandoned in the Port of Suva without their wages apparently being paid for 12 months. Crew circumstances include having to continue to work onboard without pay, having minimal access to communications, allegedly being kept on the vessel without shore access and their identity documents being retained.

Global Fishing Watch satellite data sheds light on slavery at sea 

Press Release  Tuesday 22 December London. UK.  Vessels known to have crew that are subject to forced labor behave in systematically different ways to the rest of the global fishing fleet, reveals a new paper published today in the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery was used to build a...

Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea receives Europeche endorsement

London. UK. During the recent 19 November 2020 webinar covering the latest updates in respect of the ILO Work in Fishing (C188) Convention, Ment van der Zwan, employers’ spokesman in the EU social dialogue committee on sea-fisheries of  Europeche, highlighted the need to reflect the four fundamental principles of the Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea. 

Pacific Fisheries Observer Safety, Security and Well-being Reports Published

London, UK. Human Rights at Sea today issues two new major international peer-reviewed reports focusing on Fisheries Observer safety, security and well-being in the Western and Central Pacific region, including for Observers employed by Commonwealth States through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.

Reports of human rights abuse towards Indonesian fishers increasing

London. UK. Increasing numbers of cases of human and labour rights abuse towards Indonesian fishers on foreign flagged vessels are coming to light. Most recently, international NGOs, including Human Rights at Sea, have been contacted with evidence highlighting the fishers' plight, the poor working conditions in which they are forced to work and allegations of ill-treatment resulting in deaths at sea.

Insight Briefing Note: Slavery at Sea and Emperors of the Deep

London. UK. / New York. USA. Human Rights at Sea today publishes the latest in its series of Insight Briefing Notes looking at the work by US-based film-maker, author and ocean conservationist William McKeever into the issues of slavery at sea, working conditions, the need for fisheries observers, and the effects on the shark fishing and shark fin trade.

Alleged Murdered Kiribati Fisheries Observer Family left without Financial Support

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.

Fijian Fishers Exploitative and Dangerous Working Conditions Exposed

"‘Once I was transshipped [the action of transferring fish or crew between vessels]. I was put into a steel crate (the one they keep fish in) along with my belongings and my papers in a plastic bag. They put floats or buoys around the crate so that it would float; they gave me a torch. It was 5 o’clock in the afternoon when they dropped me over the side with my gear but it wasn’t until nearly 10 o’clock before the second vessel came and picked me up: I was all alone, wet and floating in a steel crate, in the black ocean."

Social Protection of Fishers and Development of the Geneva Declaration on Human Rights at Sea

"My ultimate aim is that fishermen, flag state nationals and migrant fishermen alike, are treated in accordance with universal human rights and the standards on safety at sea in fishing in its broad sense and that the next common fisheries policy incorporates the outlines of a responsible policy on safety at sea protecting life and property within the fishing sector." Ment van der Zwan. London.UK. The need for improvement in the awareness, understanding and betterment of human rights standards in the global fishing industry and associated supply chains continues to be a focal point of advocacy by international supporters of the concept that 'human rights apply at sea, as they do on land'.

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