Indonesian Fishers on Foreign Vessels Continue to Face More Issues

Diana Mariska
Fishermen (Photo: Riaulink)
Fishermen (Photo: Riaulink) - The latest report reveals that Indonesian seafarers who work on foreign vessels continue to face more issues compared to those on local fishing vessels.

As reported by Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia, in two years, the institution received 69 complaints, and the majority came from local fishers on foreign vessels.

“40.57 percent of complaints were reported by local vessel crew, and 55.07 percent were from those working on foreign vessels,” national coordinator of DFW Indonesia Moh. Abdi Suhufan said on Wednesday, February 2, as reported by Antara.

The reports were received between 2020 and 2021 and involved 169 victims.

The cases were related to insurance and social security problems, unpaid wages or pay cuts, fraud, and violence – violations to labor law that lead to the practice of forced labor.

To resolve the issues, DFW Indonesia said the Indonesian government must intensify the protection of Indonesian fishing crew working on both local and foreign vessels because the current existing regulations haven’t seemed to work efficiently in assisting Indonesian fishers, with poor implementation and monitoring are considered as the main causes.

“Law No. 18/2017 on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers hasn’t been able to answer the complicated problem because the technical regulations related to fishing crew haven’t been issued up until now,” Suhufan said.

The lack of derivative regulations, he continued, enables recruitment and placement process of seafarers to be carried out by any parties, without being closely monitored by the government.

Besides Law No. 18/2017, Indonesia also has Law No. 17/2008 on shipping and Law No. 40/2007 on company which have been used by manning agents as the basis for recruiting and placing migrant seafarers.

“The overlapping regulations complicate and weakens the proper management of migrant seafarers,” Suhufan concluded.

Tag # indonesian seafarers # indonesian fishermen # fishing crew # foreign fishing vessel # destructive fishing watch (dfw) indonesia # maritime # fisheries

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