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

Litigation Can Cost Shipbrokers an Arm & a Leg

A survey of London solicitors by specialist intermediaries insurer ITIC has highlighted the high cost of litigation for shipbrokers and others seeking judgment in the English courts,

Attestation / Endorsement services for seaman in UAE

The Maritime Administration of the United Arab Emirates has introduced services for the attestation of seaman contract and issuance of oil/chemical/gas tanker endorsement.

Concordia Captain Tried to Blame Wreck on Electrical Blackout

The captain of the Costa Concordia tried to persuade the crisis coordinator of the cruise line to pretend an electrical blackout had caused the shipwreck, a court was told on Monday.

News

Hong Kong Tin Hau Festival

The Tin Hau Festival at Tai Miu Wan will be celebrated this year on 22 April 2014. Coxswains, owners and operators of local vessels are advised that arrangements

Fire Aboard US Warship Transiting Atlantic Ocean

U.S. Fleet Forces Command inform that a  fire broke out aboard 'USS Hue City' (CG 66) as the ship was transiting the Atlantic.
 Hue City had departed Mayport, Fla.

Three NOAA scientists honored by White House

The White House yesterday awarded three NOAA scientists with Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor given

Maritime Safety

Hong Kong Tin Hau Festival

The Tin Hau Festival at Tai Miu Wan will be celebrated this year on 22 April 2014. Coxswains, owners and operators of local vessels are advised that arrangements

Fire Aboard US Warship Transiting Atlantic Ocean

U.S. Fleet Forces Command inform that a  fire broke out aboard 'USS Hue City' (CG 66) as the ship was transiting the Atlantic.
 Hue City had departed Mayport, Fla.

Three NOAA scientists honored by White House

The White House yesterday awarded three NOAA scientists with Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor given

Vessels

Hong Kong Tin Hau Festival

The Tin Hau Festival at Tai Miu Wan will be celebrated this year on 22 April 2014. Coxswains, owners and operators of local vessels are advised that arrangements

Fire Aboard US Warship Transiting Atlantic Ocean

U.S. Fleet Forces Command inform that a  fire broke out aboard 'USS Hue City' (CG 66) as the ship was transiting the Atlantic.
 Hue City had departed Mayport, Fla.

Maersk Line named race partner for the Volvo Ocean Race

The world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk Line, is the official shipping partner for the Volvo Ocean Race, the pre-eminent round-the-world yacht race.

People in the News

Three NOAA scientists honored by White House

The White House yesterday awarded three NOAA scientists with Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. The award is the highest honor given

US FMC Commissioner Visits Panama Canal Expansion Sites

Counsel to the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission informs that  Commissioner William P. Doyle has recently surveyed the construction site on a visit to the Pacific-side of the expanded Panama Canal.

US Navy Ship Welcomes President of Romania

The forward deployed guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) welcomed aboard Romanian President Traian Bsescu while the ship was in port in Constanta, April 14.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics 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: 0.1187 sec (8 req/sec)