Thu, Jul 19, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese ship first vessel stopped under UN accord

CNA, with staff writer

The first fishing vessel to be detained for contravening the UN’s Work in Fishing Convention was from Taiwan, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said on Tuesday.

ILO spokesman Hans von Rohland said that “the ship was from Taiwan” and its owner was based there, Agence France-Presse reported.

The fishing vessel was detained in Cape Town, South Africa, in May following complaints by the crew about working conditions and was released at the end of last month, the ILO said in a news release.

The ship’s owner was required to address problems found in an inspection carried out under the provisions of the convention, which took effect in November last year and is aimed at protecting the 38 million workers in the industry around the globe, the ILO said.

The ILO did not provide a name for the ship, but a photograph on its Web site accompanying the news release showed a vessel with a Taiwanese flag, Chinese characters for the ship’s name (unclear) and Kaohsiung, and an English name (also unclear).

After the boat was detained, two inspectors from the South African Maritime Safety Authority found a long list of problems, including “lack of documentation, poor accommodation, insufficient food for fishers, and poor safety and health conditions on board,” the ILO said.

“Only two of the crew members had work agreements and there was not even a crew list,” the news release quoted one of the inspectors, Thelma Paul, as saying.

According to the news release, crew members complained of having to manually pull in fish that were caught and carrying heavy loads to the fish storage facility — and some said that they wanted to leave the vessel.

South Africa is one of 10 countries to have ratified the convention, along with Angola, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Congo, Estonia, France, Lithuania, Morocco and Norway.

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