Pacific: Human Rights at Sea case studies on alleged human rights abuses in the fishing industry

Case studies by Human Rights at Sea narrate the occurrence of alleged human rights abuses in the Pacific fishing industry.

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Article
28 February 2019

A Family Perspective in their Own Words Salote Kaisuva, the widow of Fijian crewman Mesake, who worked on Taiwanese Longliners.

Author: Human Rights at Sea

March 2019

...[A]n incident happened on the De Sheng Fa no. 2.... There was a heated argument during which the cook chased Joseva...finally hacking him three times at the knee. Even though Joseva was bleeding heavily, the Captain ordered that he had to continue working, and to drink a lot of water to compensate for his bleeding. There was a big fight on the ship because of this, my husband (his father) insisting that the Captain take the vessel back to port so that Joseva could be treated.

...[H]e received only F$3,000. I then realised that the welfare of the crew was not a company concern – instead, their main concern was making money.

My husband and other son, Apolosi, went back to sea but after a while they transferred to another fishing company based at Fiji Fishing Company. ...[B]oth of them started getting back pains because of carrying the heavy fish and wearing wet gear for 18-20 hours each day.

[...]

I asked for assistance for the funeral expenses from the company and they gave me F$5,000. ...[M]y husband...passed away because of the years of work for the fishing companies, yet they offered very little assistance.

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Article
31 December 2018

HRAS Case Study In Their Own Words: The Case of the Killing of Fesaitu Riamkau

Author: Human Rights at Sea

January 2019

[...]

Fesaitu was 38 when he died. He had a sailing career of more than 20 years, and more than 10 years of that time was on fishing vessels; he had one of the 'Captain' class certificates and wanted to complete his study for Class 3. He'd worked on Gilontas fishing boats, flagged maybe to Vanuatu or Panama.

[...]

At first, when the agent called, they just said he'd passed away. ...The agent told us that: 'Itu fell overboard and drowned' and for someone who had 20 years' experience we didn't believe him; no-one did; no-one would be so stupid to believe that lie; no-one believed him.

[...]

When we opened the body bag, we saw visible bruises so we knew he'd been beaten up to death....

...The government gave us F$50,000 as compensation to his siblings; the funeral expenses were paid by the whole family because the compensation came after the funeral. But there were a lot of things we had to do and pay for; things these days are very expensive. We had to go to Nadi to get the body, and then come back with it, and Rotuman funerals and reguregu (customary gift-giving and hosting at funerals) go on for days.

[...]

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Report
11 February 2018

Investigative Report and Case Study - Fisheries Abuses and Related Deaths at Sea in the Pacific Region

Author: Human Rights at Sea

December 2017

...In the Pacific Region, maritime fishing can contribute up to 10% of the states’ GDP, and provide employment for up to 60% of the population. However, due to the profitability of this sector unsustainable and illegal practices are increasingly threatening this situation.

The complex international law picture has made it impossible to set legally enforceable minimum standards, putting Fishing Observers and crew members alike at the mercy of potentially unscrupulous corporations...

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