New law aims to protect migrant fishermen

‘YELLOW CARD’:Greenpeace and the International Labour Organization have often raised concerns about working conditions for foreign crews in the nation’s fishing fleet

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 11, 2016
By: Ralph Jennings / AP, NEW TAIPEI CITY

Commercial fishing boat owners in Taiwan, one of the world’s biggest seafood exporters, face strict rules and potential fines under a new law aimed at preventing overfishing and protecting migrant crew members who work at sea with little oversight.

The Act Governing Distant Water Fisheries (遠洋漁業條例), which takes effect on Jan. 15 next year, comes amid growing pressure on the nation’s seafood industry to crack down on modern-day slavery and other abuses of the more than 20,000 migrants working on the nation’s fleet of fishing vessels.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Frances Lee (李宗芬) said new requirements for migrant workers include insurance, healthcare, wages, working hours and human rights.

Last year, the EU gave Taiwan a “yellow card” for failing to control illegal fishing on its commercial vessels, which sail around the world and catch about US$2 billion of tuna and other seafood every year.     [FULL  STORY]

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