Fishers and Plunderers: Theft, Slavery and Violence at Sea

Fishers and Plunderers: Theft, Slavery and Violence at Sea

Alastair Couper, Bruno Ciceri

Language: English

Pages: 216

ISBN: 0745335918

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Fishers and Plunderers focuses on the exploitation of fish and fishers alike in a global industry that gives little consideration to either conservation or human rights. In a business characterized by overprovisioned vessels and shortages of fish, young men are routinely trafficked from poor areas onto fishing boats to work under conditions of virtual slavery. Poverty and debt push many towards piracy and drugs—although the criminality linked to the industry extends far beyond any individual worker, vessel, or fleet. Fishers and Plunderers provides strong evidence of industry-wide crimes and injustices and argues for regulations that protect the rights of fishers across the board.


















Indian EEZ. Average violations per year of foreign fishing vessels entering Indian EEZ Figure 6.2 Arrests of fishing vessels around India, 2000–03 Source: G. Pramod, ‘Illegal, unreported and unregulated marine fish catches in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone: field report, policy and ecosystem restoration in fisheries’, Vancouver, BC: Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, 2010, pp. 2–6. 85 fishers and plunderers OM AN PAKISTAN N E EM INDIA SRI LANKA AL IA Y Foreign

‘riddled with fraud, negligence and criminal misconduct’. At the same time there are experiments being conducted in hatching from eggs in crates to restock, but these are at an early stage. North-East Atlantic The remote northern sector of this region is one of the few areas of the world where illegal fishing has been removed in recent years. Illegal catches ran at between 100,000 and 200,000 tonnes per annum until 2010, when the Norwegian and Russian authorities acquired the ability to control

Fishers on both sides belong to families that have earned their livelihood from the sea for generations. They don’t known any other business. They are poor, and usually illiterate. In Pakistan, they earn at most Rs 300–400 a day and often have to take loans to get by. After years in prison their incomes have not increased. Source: name deleted. 120 chapter 9 Getting a Crew by Dubious Contracting and Slave Trafficking When a man is desperate for work, finds himself in a factory or on a fishing

the catch. Although maintenance can be deferred, albeit with increased risk to the crew, the only immediately reducible cost is labour. Crews can be cut in numbers to a bare minimum, and their working time increased to a maximum; victualling can be rationed to basic survival levels and subsequently health and safety conditions constrained, and most of all slave labour is attained by rigorous enforcement of conditions and deprivation of wages. There are various levels of success in these respects

and debt free. An example of abandonment is drawn from South Africa, where ten fishing vessels were under arrest during 2013–14. In October 2013 the South African patrol vessel Victoria Mxenge brought into Cape Town seven ships that had been arrested for illegal fishing. In addition to tuna they had swordfish, dolphin and sharks on board. The skippers were held for a time in custody and the 75 Indonesian fishers confined on board. The conditions on the boats were already atrocious, and over the

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