75 Abused Fishermen Abandoned and Arrested

MarineLink.com
Monday, December 02, 2013

Maritime charity, the Apostleship of the Sea has called for a major change in the way seafarers and fishermen are treated by government authorities when they are the victims of unscrupulous owners.

The recent case of 75 Indonesian fishermen illustrates what the Apostleship of the Sea says is a heavy-handed and ill thought out process.

Local media have reported on the slave-like conditions endured by the 75 Indonesian fishermen stranded in Cape Town harbor for the last month. Many of the crew had not been paid for two years by the Taiwanese owners and were forced to continue to work, said Apostleship of the Sea, South Africa. Some crew say they were recruited with the promise of a fairly paid job, but once they were onboard received no pay and little food, often working from 2 a.m. until 10 p.m. at night. One media outlet reported that "a 44-year-old man said he had worked on various vessels for 37 months without pay, often transferred to other boats when his contract expired."

Seafarers’ trade union the ITF reported on the appalling living conditions onboard, "Inside the vessel there was one toilet for 12 men and that they had been drinking out of a tap used to pump oil one day and water the next,"

"The conditions were inhumane. None of these men have been paid a cent, despite working 20 hour days. It's slavery at sea."

The fishing vessels were impounded in South Africa for illegal fishing, with the captain being arrested, while the crew were dependent on the support of the Apostleship of the Sea and the local community to survive and seek help. The Apostleship of the Sea in Cape Town has a long experience of supporting the many Indonesian and Filipino seafarers who visit this port, and an Indonesian speaking member of the AoS team was able to act as a go-between liaising with the trade union and Indonesian consulate. By the fourth week in port the crew had no food or water; this was supplied not by the vessel owner but by the Apostleship of the Sea, local churches and the ITF.

In a worrying turn of events, at 3 a.m. on Sunday the fishermen were woken up, arrested and taken to detention center. However the Apostleship of the Sea is questioning whether this action and the efforts of the South African government’s home affairs department to deport the crew are legal. If the fishermen are repatriated with undue haste it is extremely unlikely that their wages will be paid and they will be labeled as illegal immigrants rather than victims of modern day slavery.

Terry Whitfield, Apostleship of the Sea National Director said, “The application of immigration rules to these men has taken no consideration of their circumstances, in the twenty-first century it is appalling that overseas fishing crews who are stranded through no fault of their own are treated as illegal immigrants and subject to treatment that has demeaned and humiliated them.”
 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Ex-BP Employee Settles Insider-trading Oil Spill Case

A former 20-year veteran of BP plc who oversaw the company's cleanup efforts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will pay more than $224,000 to settle civil charges

Somali Pirate Sentenced to 12 Years by German Court

A German court sentenced a Somali asylum-seeker to 12 years in jail on Thursday, for his involvement in the pirate hijacking of a tanker in the Indian Ocean in 2010.

DHL Expects Immunity in Price Fixing Investigation

Deutsche Post expects its DHL forwarding business to be granted immunity from prosecution and fines by Singapore antitrust authorities, who are investigating 11 companies for alleged price fixing,

News

UN Seeks Sanctions Waiver to Ship Arms to Mali

The United Nations is seeking an exemption from a U.N. Security Council arms embargo on Ivory Coast so it can ship weapons and military equipment across the East

TEPNG Integrates AVEVA Engineering & Design

AVEVA announced that TOTAL E&P Nigeria Ltd. (TEPNG) has adopted AVEVA’s Engineering & Design solutions as part of an Integrated Engineering & Design approach. TEPNG

US Navy Vessel Heads Home Following Fire

U.S. Fleet Forces announced late Monday that USS Hue City (CG 66) would return to her homeport of Mayport, Fla. on her own power following a fire that occurred April 14.

Maritime Safety

US Navy Vessel Heads Home Following Fire

U.S. Fleet Forces announced late Monday that USS Hue City (CG 66) would return to her homeport of Mayport, Fla. on her own power following a fire that occurred April 14.

Pirates Approach Tanker in Bab El Mandeb

The U.S. Navy Maritime Liaison Office in Bahrain (MARLO) has advised that on or about 12:30 UTC on 14 April, the Master of an oil tanker reported being approached by a white-blue skiff in position 12.

USCG Responds to Vessel Fire

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported it is responding to a report of a vessel that caught fire and became disabled with two men and a dog aboard south of the McCormick

Vessels

US Navy Vessel Heads Home Following Fire

U.S. Fleet Forces announced late Monday that USS Hue City (CG 66) would return to her homeport of Mayport, Fla. on her own power following a fire that occurred April 14.

Where in the World is USS Slater?

To answer, USS Slater is at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair in Staten Island. Typically, the ship is open to the public in Albany near the beginning of April. This season,

Damen Lays Keel for Indonesian Naval Frigate

In accordance with the agreed planning in the contract for the construction of a Damen SIGMA Frigate for the Indonesian Navy, the keel laying ceremony has taken place on April 16,

People in the News

Blackstone Unlikely to Enter Commodities Trade

Blackstone exec doesn't expect move into commodities in near term Blackstone Group LP is unlikely to make a foray into commodity trading in the short term as

Obama Offers US Aid to S.Korea Following Ferry Accident

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed condolences to the families of the victims of the South Korean ferry sinking and said the U.S. military will provide

Ex-BP Employee Settles Insider-trading Oil Spill Case

A former 20-year veteran of BP plc who oversaw the company's cleanup efforts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will pay more than $224,000 to settle civil charges

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2016 sec (5 req/sec)