Data loading...

Fishermen’s Union: Human Rights Exemption Japanese Should Be Thrown Out

Following reports yesterday that Japanese tuna fishers would be excluded from a new Fisheries Amendment Bill which addresses human rights on fishing vessels, Maritime Union announced its view that the exemption should be thrown out. The Maritime Union is a  trade union which represents the interests of waterfront workers, seafarers and related workers in New Zealand.
It says last-minute changes to the bill by Primary Production Select Committee would allow also some International Whaling Industry (IWI) quota holders to sidestep the requirement to use New Zealand flagged vessels by 2016.
Maritime Union National Secretary, Joe Fleetwood said that after years of deaths, injuries, abuse and criminal activity involving foreign charter vessels, the industry has to be cleaned up, with no exemptions – as was agreed.
He added that the changes amount to the Government condoning slave labor on foreign vessels fishing for tuna and other fish in NZ waters. “We’ll just give everyone an exemption and be done with it. And let’s just say, ‘Yes, we accept ships of shame. We accept exploitation in the New Zealand fishing industry and New Zealand waters,’ and be done with it. Because that’s what the Government’s saying.”
As a result the union has called for the current 2016 deadline to re-flag foreign charter vessels to be brought forward to 2014.