Alerted to terrible conditions on foreign-crewed fishing vessels after nearly 30 people lost their lives, Michael Field began asking questions. [It appears from his research that New Zealand government officials have been turning a blind eye to moral corruption and human rights abuses in the fishing industry for years… read on].
SECRET PAPERS obtained under the Official Information Act reveal the government has allowed fishermen from poor countries to be exploited in New Zealand waters. New Zealand officials have long been aware of the slave labour and conditions but there have been no prosecutions…. Workers are fishing in rusting boats turned into high seas sweatshops that take large parts of the country’s $1.4 billion-a-year catch.
The government papers reveal that thousands of men from poor areas are beaten and forced to work for days without rest, earning between $260 and $460 a month before paying much of it over to “agents”. Chief executive of Nelson’s Talley’s Fisheries, Peter Peter Talley, said the government knew what was happening but had responded only by setting basic standards for onboard observers. “They do not care about the Filipinos, Indonesians and Ukrainians on the vessels.”
Full story: Slavery at sea exposed by Michael Field. Sunday Star Times, 3 April 2011. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4841777/Slavery-at-sea-exposed