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 June 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Maritime Security

Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

When night falls over western Venezuela, armed gangs known as "pirates" sometimes ride boats into muggy Lake Maracaibo to steal equipment from oil wells.   In the country's Paraguana peninsula,

Activists Planning Protest Against Shell's Arctic Business

U.S. environmental activists said they planned to protest on Tuesday against the launch of the second of two oil rigs central to Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

Samsung Bags Order for Decks on Johan Sverdrup

Statoil, on behalf of the Johan Sverdrup license, has awarded Samsung the contract for decks for both the process and riser platforms.  The total contract value is NOK 7 billion.

News

Huge Yacht Carrier Headed for South Pacific

New policies making it easier for foreign-flagged vessels to explore the coastlines of Australia have lead DYT Yacht Transport (DYT) to schedule its largest semi-submersible yacht carrier,

Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

When night falls over western Venezuela, armed gangs known as "pirates" sometimes ride boats into muggy Lake Maracaibo to steal equipment from oil wells.   In the country's Paraguana peninsula,

US Refiners' Group Wants Wide Debate on Oil Exports

The U.S. oil refining industry's association is not opposed to lifting the country's 40-year-old ban on crude exports as long as the move is part of a bigger effort to lower barriers to trade,

Maritime Safety

Pirates and Hold-ups: Crime Strikes Venezuela's Oil Industry

When night falls over western Venezuela, armed gangs known as "pirates" sometimes ride boats into muggy Lake Maracaibo to steal equipment from oil wells.   In the country's Paraguana peninsula,

Coast Guard Monitoring Rocket Debris off US

The U.S. Coast Guard informs it is working with SpaceX and partner agencies to monitor the debris field of the exploded Falcon 9 rocket in the Atlantic Ocean more

Shell Rig Departs for Arctic Despite Protest

U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell.

Vessels

Huge Yacht Carrier Headed for South Pacific

New policies making it easier for foreign-flagged vessels to explore the coastlines of Australia have lead DYT Yacht Transport (DYT) to schedule its largest semi-submersible yacht carrier,

Tero Marine Secures Boa Offshore Contract

Tero Marine informs it has secured a multimillion (NOK) contract for delivery of fleet management software to Norwegian shipping company Boa Offshore. The Bergen-based

Evergreen Names Penultimate L-type Containership

A naming ceremony was held for the Evergreen Group’s newest containership, Ever Lovely, the ninth of its L-type vessels to be built by CSBC Corporation in Taiwan

People in the News

‘Old Salt’ Designation Passed to Vice Adm. Tidd

The “Old Salt” designation, honoring the Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) serving on active duty with the earliest Surface Warfare Qualification, passed from Adm. Sam Locklear to Vice Adm.

Voith Turbo Names Calhoun VP of O&G Sales

Shawn Calhoun has joined Voith Turbo’s Power, Oil & Gas Division as Vice President of Sales – Oil and Gas, to be based at the company’s new Houston, Texas office

Ki-tack Lim Elected as IMO Secretary General

Ki-tack Lim from the Republic of Korea has been elected as the new Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), with effect from January 1,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1753 sec (6 req/sec)