WWF Cites Charity’s Work in Pacific Fisheries Crew Welfare Initiative

by TunaPacific Republishing | 20 May 2019 | News

Republished from the Maritime Executive, 20 May 2019

The recent Human Rights at Sea and NGO Pacific Dialogue Fijian fisheries case study about Mesake Kaisuva by his widow Salote Kaisuva, has been used by WWF Western and Central Pacific Tuna Programme Team to brief the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Working Group (MCSWG) supporting positive changes for the implementation of a crew welfare licensing minimum terms and conditions.

WWF lead, Bubba Cook, cited to the charity the leadership role by the FFA on the issue, and that last week the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) approved the minimum licensing conditions for crew welfare in the region.

WWF have been pushing this initiative for more than a year as an extension of their work on Observer Safety and Security, with the first significant provision on the issue being a presentation Bubba in October 2018 to the Management Objectives Consultation of the FFA highlighting the global media coverage and case studies on abuses in the Pacific region fishing industry, including those from Human Rights at Sea.

Bubba said: “In April 2019, I provided an intervention on the HRAS report on Mesake Kaisuva to the FFA MCS Working Group and offered the report as an information paper. Subsequently, it was cited a couple of times by Member States in interventions supporting the implementation of a crew welfare licensing minimum terms and conditions (MTC), most notably by Fiji. The MCS Working Group consequently forwarded the recommendation to the Forum Fisheries Committee, who agreed to adoption of the proposed MTCs last week, which represents the first instance of its kind where a fisheries institution has attempted to address crew welfare and human rights. The FFC’s recommendation will now go forward to the FFC Ministers.”

Human Rights at Sea Founder, David Hammond, commented: “It is reassuring to know that the charity’s independent work and investigations alongside key partners is being positively used to influence State-level decision-making for the betterment of crew welfare provisions in the Pacific region, and we thank WWF for their engagement.”

Coming Up. Human Rights at Sea will be shortly issuing another detailed case study on the effects on Fijian tuna fishermen of dangerous working conditions resulting in life-changing injuries.

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