BFF-70 First fishing boat detained under new UN labour rules

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BFF-70

UN-SAFRICA-TAIWAN-CHINA-FISHING-LABOUR

First fishing boat detained under new UN labour rules

GENEVA, July 17, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The UN’s labour organisation announced
on Tuesday that the first fishing boat had been detained under its convention
which came into force last year with the aim of protecting workers in the
hazardous industry.

The boat was detained in Cape Town, South Africa, in May after the crew
complained about the working conditions to local inspectors, the
International Labour Organization (ILO) said.

ILO spokesman Hans Von Rohland told AFP that “the ship was from Taiwan” and
its owner was based there.

Once the ship was seized the inspectors found a long list of problems,
including a “lack of documentation, poor accommodation, insufficient food for
fishers, and poor safety and health conditions on board”, the ILO said in a
statement.

Thelma Paul of the South African Maritime Safety Authority said only two
crew members had work agreements and “there was not even a crew list”.

“The lifebuoys were to be replaced because they were rotten, the anchors
were not operational and one was even missing,” she added.

The crew told the inspectors that they wanted off the boat, saying they had
to manually pull in caught fish and carry heavy loads to a storage facility.

The vessel, which had been deemed unseaworthy, was released in June after
being repaired.

The Work in Fishing Convention aims to ensure adequate and safe conditions
for the estimated 38 million workers in the fisheries industry, which has
been plagued by exploitation, forced labour, and human trafficking.

The convention was adopted in 2007 but only came into effect in November
last year when it was ratified by a tenth country, Lithuania.

BSS/AFP/MRI/2332 hrs