This report makes for shocking and harrowing reading. Its findings should concern everyone connected to the seafood industry – from consumers, to workers and vessel operators, and those who manage and govern this critical global industry. It should concern everyone who values human rights and the rule of law.
For those who follow or have an interest in Taiwan’s fisheries, and distant water fishing fleets generally, some the case studies in this report will not come as a surprise.
Stories of serious human rights abuses, poor labour standards, dire working conditions, and the use of fishing techniques that harm our oceans and the life in them, have been well reported. Many of the world’s leading news outlets such as the New York Times and The Guardian, and international NGOs such as Greenpeace, have investigated and reported appalling stories from the furthest reaches of our oceans.
And yet for all the reporting, the stories and research presented in this new investigation are no less appalling, the passive approach of Taiwanese authorities and the indifference of industry itself, no less scandalous.
In Misery at sea we report on ongoing problems in the distant water Taiwanese fishing fleet, the continued failure of Taiwanese authorities to effectively sanction human rights abuses, and we provide testimony from fishermen whose young lives have been ruined by this broken industry.