Fiji: Exploited Indonesian fishers of Chinese-owned vessel He Shun 38 to be repatriated; vessel de-listed from MSC-Certification
"Exploited Indonesian Fishers to be repatriated. Vessel de-listed from MSC-Certification", 26 January 2021
Following the public highlighting on 16 January by Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) of the case of two exploited Indonesian fishers of the Chinese-owned, Fijian-flagged He Shun 38 (No.00359) vessel, both crew are reported as being repatriated to Indonesia on Thursday 28th January with some wages paid. Further, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has reported to HRAS that the Fiji Fishing Industry Association (FFIA) has de-listed the He Shun from MSC-Certification.
From the outset of this reported incident HRAS outreached to the Indonesian Embassy, the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji, the MSC and Lloyd’s Register through their agent, Acoura Marine Ltd. The charity was unable to locate the owners.
Following exposure of the case, Lloyd’s Register issued a statement on 20 January, in which it highlighted that: “We are currently in discussion with FFIA as part of our investigations into these reports and will take any further action as required under the relevant MSC Fisheries Certification Process.”
“The FFIA has delisted the He Shun 38 from the MSC certificate, which means it’s no longer eligible to fish for MSC-certified catch. They also confirmed that this vessel has not fished in the MSC-certified fishery for over a year – the last occasion being October 2019.”
HRAS welcomes the prompt investigation and action to delist the vessel concerned from MSC-certification, though this does not guarantee that such exploitation may not continue in the fleet and supply chain. The charity continues its liaison with MSC staff in respect of this case and in relation to the wider issue of better awareness of worker exploitation in supply chains.