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

News

Syncrude Uncertain about Plant Fire Affecting Production

The operator of Canada's largest synthetic crude project said on Saturday it is investigating the causes of an early morning fire at an upgrading plant. Firefighters extinguished the blaze,

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.

United Heavy Lift Gears up for the Asian Boom

All set to expand its footprint in the South Asian market significantly, Hamburg based, United Heavy Lift (UHL) appointed strategically placed Lexicon Overseas Pvt Ltd.

Maritime Safety

Hurricane Ignacio Gains Strength but Expected to Bypass Hawaii

Hurricane Ignacio intensified as it blew across the Pacific on a route likely to bypass Hawaii on Saturday, said the Central Pacific Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service.

World’s Quickest Trip Through Northern Sea Route

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan intends to make it world’s quickest Northern Sea Route trip from Murmansk to the Bering Strait in 14 days without engine power. His

USCG Reopens Key West Ports After Erika Dissipates

Effective 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, reopened Key West, Florida, ports, terminals and facilities due to Tropical Storm Erika dissipating.

Vessels

United Heavy Lift Gears up for the Asian Boom

All set to expand its footprint in the South Asian market significantly, Hamburg based, United Heavy Lift (UHL) appointed strategically placed Lexicon Overseas Pvt Ltd.

World’s Quickest Trip Through Northern Sea Route

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan intends to make it world’s quickest Northern Sea Route trip from Murmansk to the Bering Strait in 14 days without engine power. His

USCG Reopens Key West Ports After Erika Dissipates

Effective 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, Coast Guard Captain of the Port, reopened Key West, Florida, ports, terminals and facilities due to Tropical Storm Erika dissipating.

People in the News

New Satcom Global Website in Oceania

Today, Satcom Global launched its Australian website, www.satcomglobal.com.au, which will offer a platform to better support our valued channel partners and customers in the region.

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators
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: 0.8065 sec (1 req/sec)