Death on the high seas; the mysterious death of a humble fishing observer

Date: Apr 12 2020
By: Andrea Vance

Eritara with his wife Tekarara Kabangaki.

On a sweltering but calm afternoon, Eritara Aati Kaierua left the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia on his final journey. Aboard a rusting Taiwanese fishing vessel he sailed south-east, leaving behind mangrove swamps on the shore line, and passing low coral atolls, beyond the breakwater before reaching the deep-blue of the Pacific.

He would never leave that ship. In less than five weeks, the 40-year-old would be dead, found lying on the floor of his locked cabin with a brutal head wound and bruising to his neck.

Kaierua's death is now under investigation by Kiribati police, with assistance from Fijian pathologist. The father-of-three is the tenth Pacific fisheries observer to die on the lawless high seas in the last decade.

The tragedy has sparked a call for more protection for this vulnerable workforce, who often face hostility from captains and crews. And it's brought to light the mysterious deaths of two more i-Kiribati monitors in the last three years.    [SOURCE]

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