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Blogs Accuse Spanish Tuna Player Of Breaking Good Practices Spain, January 24, 13

According to the Spanish websites Noticias 999 and Burbuja Info, the Galician tuna canner Calvo may be breaking even its own set of good practices. This follows from the statements of a sailor named Roman who embarked on one of Calvo’s tuna seiners, and on several interviews with sources very close to the company, which preferred to remain anonymous.
Roman, who recently embarked on one of the tuna fishing in the African coast, said “working conditions are true exploitation, with basic salaries of around 80 Euros per month, plus 77 cents per ton caught.” Thus, if the maximum load that the vessel can transport is around 900 tons of tuna, the monthly salary reaches even 800 Euros in the best case, while “the average being captured lately is about 500 tons, leaving just 500 Euros,” said the sailor.
As indicated by Roman, this is the salary of most of the crew, with the exceptions of the captain, boats man, master and chief engineer, who are all Spanish, even though Calvo said in its statement that “at least four of the positions with high responsibility are filled by workers from Senegal, Ghana and Ivory Coast.”
The bulk of the crew came from these three African countries, “they barely speak Spanish, do the toughest jobs and have half the holidays of Spanish sailors.”



Meanwhile, Calvo indicates that the remuneration of the crew “is at least five times more than the annual minimum wage in the respective countries of origin, either Senegal, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.”

The Senegalese, are often ethnic Serer that “practice a traditional fishing off the coast of Senegal” with “a reputation for being very good fishermen”, to the extent they are “tuna school spotters and are often are more reliable than radar, or sonar sensors.”

Although the statement of the cannery strictly states that all employees, foreign or Spanish, have the same enforceable labor conditions, with health and safety requirements with the most appropriate training, and compensation levels clearly above the stipulated minimum wage and with excellent conditions to execute their work, the story of Roman is different. He describes that there are poor working conditions related to the state of the vessel.

It so happens that none of the ships that make up the Atlantic fleet of Calvo flies the Spanish flag, most of them are sailing under the flag of Cape Verde, “mainly due to issues with fishing licenses and taxes, since in these countries the social security criteria for the crew are much lower,” say sources very close to the cannery, familiar with the ins and outs of the company.