More abuses at sea

Tina Law at The Press reports:

Another Korean-owned fishing vessel berthed at Lyttelton has been embroiled in claims of unpaid wages and human rights abuses of its crew.

Slave Free Seas, a charitable trust set up to help crew on foreign-owned fishing vessels in New Zealand, has filed papers at the High Court in Christchurch alleging the 35 Indonesian crew of the Melilla 201 are owed more than $1 million in wages, which it says they are entitled to under New Zealand law.

Lawyer and Slave Free Seas spokesman Craig Tuck said crew had also complained about verbal abuse and general ill treatment from Korean officers.

I’ve read a report documenting some of the abuses that happen on these boats. They are horrific and should not be happening in our waters. The problem is not our law – it is the lack of enforcement of it.

I think the problem is so bad, that independent observers could be warranted on all foreign crewed boats.


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