Deadly life at sea: UN partners spotlight depths of danger in fishing industry

UN Photo/Martine Perret Fisherman in Timor Leste casts net in the water to catch small fish. UN Photo/Martine Perret

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


There is a clear link between the seedy underbelly of the seafood industry, and fishers’ safety, now ranked as the second deadliest profession in the world; and more must be done to ensure people dependent on this type of labour are working in safe conditions, UN partners urged on Thursday.

“Every hour fishers die doing their job – not just men, women too”, Maria Helena Samedo, chief for Climate and Natural Resources at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), explained at a major conference organized by the agency in Rome, coinciding with World Fisheries Day on 21 November.

“Human rights violations and unacceptable practices at different stages of the value chain are increasing in fisheries and aquaculture”, she added.

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing leads to over-exploitation of fish stocks, already drained by pollution and climate impacts, and financially burdens honest fishers and the communities that depend on them, FAO and the International Labour Organisation (ILO)  said  in a joint statement at the conclusion of the International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability.

A lucrative catch

Beyond injuring biodiversity and economies, IUU casts a dark shadow on already physically-taxing sea labour, with many IUU fishers engaging in transnational crimes, such as human and drug trafficking and piracy.

Around the world, one in ten people depend on fishing to make a living and feed their families, and often, they are some of the poorest in society, according to FAO.

An estimated 95 per cent of those relying on the seafood business to provide for their families, live in Africa and Asia, often enduring gruesome working conditions. In 2019, fishing was ranked and the second most dangerous job in the world, just behind logging.

Vulnerable youth and migrants often find casual jobs aboard vessels with working and living conditions well below acceptable standards.

Crewmembers are notoriously denied previously agreed wages, if they get paid at all, while some captains and boat owners ignore basic human rights, forcing fishers to endure extended periods at sea, under dangerous conditions.

Transnational fishing operations entangled with organized crimes pose additional challenges for law enforcement; with frequent border crossing, fishers reporting to criminal captains therefore have little or no protection, ILO reports.

FAO has been working alongside governmental and international partners to tackle the scourge of IUU, a lucrative industry valued at an estimated $10 to $23 billion every year.

Fishing for SDGs

Speaking at the Symposium’s conclusion in Rome, Monsignor Bruno Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, noted that Pope Francis has spoken of the need for a more integral approach to ecology, and the Holy See has called for greater synergy between governments and maritime authorities to protect human rights in this sector.

FAO has developed a number of international instruments designed to promote dialogue and policy processes to achieve sustainable fisheries management, in line with UN Sustainable Development targets. 

By the Symposium’s end, participants are expected to present a technical document that synthesized the information and debate in each of the event’s sessions, to be table at the 34th session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries, set for July 2020.

The document will form the platform for a high-level policy statement on the role, value and sustainability status of global and regional fisheries.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

South Africa still hasn’t won LGBTQ+ equality. Here are 5 reasons why

EU and China seize momentum to enhance trade agreements in response to Trump’s administration

Parliament gives green light to EU-Singapore trade and investment protection deals

Japan should reform retirement policies to meet challenge of ageing workforce

4 things President Trump could learn from Jimmy Carter

Foreign investment to be screened to protect EU countries’ strategic interests

Traditional knowledge at ‘core’ of indigenous heritage, and ‘must be protected’, says UN Forum

What is adversarial artificial intelligence and why does it matter?

Japanese banks to move their European HQ from London to Frankfurt after Brexit

The Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050*

Calculators didn’t replace mathematicians, and AI won’t replace humans

For Africa, ‘winds of hope are blowing ever stronger,’ Guterres declares at conference on development

In The Bahamas, Guterres sees impact of ‘Category Hell’ hurricane, ‘powered by climate change’

UN chief urges top digital tech panel to come up with ‘bold, innovative ideas’ for an ‘inclusive’ future

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

“Asia-Pacific takes stock of ambitious development targets”, written by the Heads of UNFPA and ESCAP

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

Paradise islands of Pacific increasingly vulnerable to climate change, as UN boosts resilience

May a parody constitute a copyright infringement? European Court of Justice to give the answer

8 things we need to do to tackle humanitarian crises in 2019

“Sorry mom it’s not our day”: the true refugee story of a young doctor and his family forced to flee their home

‘Immense’ needs of migrants making perilous journey between Yemen and Horn of Africa prompts $45 million UN migration agency appeal

CHINA UNLIMITED. PEOPLE UNLIMITED. RESTRICTIONS LIMITED

‘Negative developments’ undermining two-State solution in Middle East

G20 starts to tackle inequality

JADE Romania Celebrates the 4th Anniversary

Why flexible workspaces are the key to winning the talent war

‘These are very dark times for Yemen’: senior UN official on air strike mass casualties

JADE at European Business Summit 2015

EU plans pan-European network of cybersecurity services

How tech is helping the agriculture sector curb carbon emissions

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

ECB indicates south Europeans can endure more austerity

3+1 issues to haunt tomorrow’s EU Summit

Why we need to redefine trust for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

UN food agency begins ‘last resort’ partial withdrawal of aid to opposition-held Yemeni capital

This Norwegian cruise line plans to power its ships with rotting fish

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

Deadly violence at Israel-Gaza border escalates dangerously: UN chief condemns in strongest terms

The new North America trade deal USMCA punishes German cars

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

A Sting Exclusive: “Global Climate: Our Common Responsibility”, S&P MEP Miriam Dalli underlines from Brussels

EU tourism industry expects a new record year in 2014

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Libya civil war, African displacement, global trade tensions, terrorists’ children ‘secretly detained’, and more

Germany is turning its old mines into tourist hotspots

New UN agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

Huge areas of the Arctic are on fire – here’s what that means for the planet

Who is first (and last) in the race to build a workforce fit for the future?

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

Cash-strapped cities must look to private partners

Is co-living an answer to the affordable housing crisis?

Poor Greeks, Irish and Spaniards still pay for the faults of German and French banks

Europe bewildered by radicalisation and terrorism

Syria still suffering ‘staggering levels’ of humanitarian need, Security Council hears

Commission launches two projects to support cooperation and innovation in Romanian regions and cities

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

Bundestag kick starts the next episode of the Greek tragedy

Marco Polo’s Dream

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s